Schell Bridge focus of 'charette' Thursday, May 17, 2007 THE RECORDER, Greenfield, Massachusetts
Northfield --Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, a nationally recognized engineering firm, has agreed to come to Northfield for two days in June to lead a public participation charette about the Schell Bridge.
The long-closed span over the Connecticut River is the object of a local preservation drive sponsored by Friends of Schell Bridge.
The charette -- a planning session which is open for general participation -- is intended to deal with two basic issues: routes for connecting the Schell Memorial Bridge into a regional bikeway network; compiling the bridge studies and reports previously completed on behalf of the Friends and providing updated renovation cost information.
The firm will bring to Northfield a multi-disciplined team of engineers and planners to show how the burgeoning network of trails and greenways in both southwest New Hampshire and southeastern Vermont can connect into the Franklin County Bikeway network by using the Schell Bridge as a key component.
VHB will conduct the charette for free, according to Friends member Joanne McGee.
She said the firm regularly does these high-impact charettes to help jump-start regionally significant bicycle/pedestrian projects. One of their most recent forays with this sort of pro-bono charette was in Manchester, NH., where a bikeway is now being developed from Salem to Concord.
Bill DeSantis, corporate director bike/ped transportation, said, "The Schell Memorial Bridge looks to be a key component of what could be a world-class bike route that would be useful for low-impact interstate tourism, economic development, and general enhanced quality of life for the residents of the area.
Friends of Schell Bridge a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation ¦ P.O. Box 27, Northfield, MA 01360 ¦ info@SchellBridge.org