A historic stone arch bridge that received more than $150,000 in federal stimulus funds this year has fallen short of some people’s expectations — mainly because it doesn’t go anywhere.
The bridge, which dates back to the 1860s, ends in a sheer, 8-foot drop after it crosses the Contoocook River. Traffic no longer crosses the span, which parallels a modern bridge near the intersection of Routes 202 and 149.
According to Recovery.gov, the government website that tracks spending through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the town of Hillsborough received $150,045 in stimulus funding to repair the bridge.
A project description on the ARRA website explains that the project was intended to preserve and resurface the bridge to “better accommodate pedestrians and bicycles.” The website also claims that the project created 1.90 jobs, including laborers and equipment operators. Given that the bridge does not connect to any existing roads, some have begun to question the span’s usefulness to bicyclists and pedestrians, and whether federal tax dollars could have gone to better use.
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