Bridge Removal Irks Berlin Residents

BERLIN – A pedestrian bridge over a drainage ditch in the Henry’s Green area will be rebuilt, Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said this week.

The property owner to make way for stormwater improvements removed the bridge, linking Henry’s Mill and Henry’s Green, recently. That move was much to the consternation of the neighborhood.

“The bridge will be replaced but we have to determine at what height … we’re not talking months. We want to get this resolved soon,” Williams said.

Berlin does want to promote pedestrian access throughout the town, he said.

“In a perfect world, maybe the property owner should have just waited a little longer,” Williams said.

The removal disturbed many in the community, some with concerns over pedestrian access in the town, and others wondering about drainage issues.

Harriet Creter, who lives in the neighborhood, asked the Berlin Mayor and Council during Monday night’s meeting whether the property owner had received any permits or done any studies that allowed him to remove the bridge and add cement conduit to the drainage ditch.

The owner does have the right to improve his situation, said the mayor. Berlin now has the power to handle stormwater issues, after passing new stormwater regulations that night, and will work with the property owner to find a solution good for all.

The town will look into what needs to be done in that area so stormwater is not simply moved down to the next property. Water problems there need to be dealt with without creating new problems.

The town has asked the property owner to stop work and he has, Williams said.

Lynn Kelly, who lives on the same street, questioned Williams, saying that work was still being done on Monday.

The situation arose late Friday and the town asked the property owner to halt work on Monday, Williams said, and he has since done so.

“If it’s a problemm it’s going to be much worse at my residence than theirs,” Kelly said.

Flooding has been a persistent problem on that street.

“I’ve already lost one vehicle to flooding there,” Kelly said.

Stormwater used to be an afterthought in Berlin, Williams said. Some situations that were not handled properly might take years to untangle, but the town is committed to doing the work.