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Business Group Lobbies For Vt.-NH Bridge Repairs

A business group is lobbying for repairs to a closed bridge between Vermont and New Hampshire.

The Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance wants to meet with Gov. Peter Shumlin to discuss solutions to reopen the Vilas Bridge spanning the Connecticut River. The group got the support of Rockingham selectboard members on Tuesday.

The 83-year-old bridge connecting Bellows Falls to Walpole, N.H., was closed in March 2009 after it was deemed unsafe.

The bridge has been on New Hampshire's Red List of troubled bridges for more than 20 years, but there are no immediate plans to repair it, partly because of funding challenges and nearby travel alternatives.

The Eagle Times reports Bellows Falls businesses have reported a drop in commerce. Thousands of vehicles weekly are veered away from downtown.