Hours after the latest covered bridge collision, the Select Board sent a message. By a 3-0 vote on Monday, they tripled fines for height and weight limit violations on the town’s two driveable covered bridges, Miller’s Run and Chamberlin Mill. Drivers that exceed those limits — 11-foot-9 and 16,000 pounds for Miller’s Run, 10 feet and 10,000 pounds for Chamberlin Mill — will be subject to fines of $5,000 for a first offense, $10,000, for a second offense, and $15,000 for third and subsequent offenses. The previous fine amounts had been $2,000/$3,500/$5,000. The change will take effect in 60 days, barring an appeal. The increased fines are meant as a deterrent. They would also fund mitigation measures for the often damaged Miller’s Run bridge, which was struck for the sixth time this year on Monday morning. One of those mitigation measures is moving forward. The town will be installing steel I-beam structures at either end of the bridge to block tall vehicles. Meanwhile, plans to install surveillance cameras to capture offenders’ license plates are under consideration, with Select Board support.
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