Construction Under Way for Goffe Mill Plaza

| March 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

PROCON Architect and CM

Goffe Plaza Bridge Removal

Goffe Plaza Bridge Removal

Bedford, NH – Construction is under way for the new Goffe Mill Plaza that is being built on the site of the former Wayfarer Inn and Convention Center in Bedford.

The new retail development will be anchored by a 48,000sf Whole Foods Market and includes the proposed development of a 73-unit residential apartment building with spa/personal training space, a bank, and two restaurants.

The historic site occupies 16.2 acres across Bowman Brook between South River Road and the FE Everett Turnpike in Bedford.

PROCON of Manchester is the architect and construction manager for the mixed-use development, and TF Moran of Bedford, the civil engineer, was hired to redesign the property as a mixed-use development.

The project, being developed by HIR Realty, LLC, includes the demolition of the former hotel and convention center and several smaller buildings on the property. The original, historic mill building on the property will remain in place, and the siding and roof will be replaced.

Signage will be installed on the property identifying the building’s historical significance.

The complex included a pedestrian covered bridge over the Bowman Brook, and the original mill building was the location of the hotel gift shop. The Dunfey family sold the hotel property in 1986, and the current owners closed the hotel in 2009.

The town of Wentworth intends to use the Goffe Mill Bridge as a replacement for its existing 97-foot bridge, which spans the Baker River and was closed in 2014 because of unsafe conditions. PROCON’s team of architects, engineers, and project managers; the town of Wentworth; and TF Moran developed a plan to ensure that the 107-foot long Goffe Mill Bridge, which weighs 72,000 pounds, could be successfully disassembled, transported, and then reassembled in Wentworth.

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The site was originally developed in 1744 by Colonel John Goffe. The Goffe family constructed two stone dams and a mill pond, where they operated a gristmill and a sawmill for over a 100 years. In 1939,

George Woodbury, a descendent of the Goffe family, built the last of a series of water-powered mills on the property. In 1961, the Dunfey family, purchased the property and opened the Sheraton Wayfarer Inn and Conference Center in 1962

For many years, the Inn served as the unofficial headquarters for both politicians and news outlets during the New Hampshire’s busy, first-in-the-nation presidential primary season. Every four years, both reporters and politicians considered the Wayfarer their “home away from home during the primary season”. The hotel’s iconic 107-ft covered pedestrian bridge, which was built in 1962, and connected the Inn to the Convention Center, was frequently used as the back-drop in national news broadcasts.

When the Town of Wentworth learned that the Wayfarer Inn was being re-developed and the pedestrian bridge on the property was slated to be removed, the Town worked with the developer and TF Moran to procure ownership of the bridge.

The 275-ton, 130-foot crane that will be used to lift the bridge from its foundation, has a 54,000 weight limitation. In order to bring the weight of the bridge into compliance, the PROCON team donated two weeks

of manpower to remove the covered roof, the internal wainscoting and the electrical conduits from the bridge. Following the removal of this material, the bridge weighed less than 54,000 pounds and was able to be safely lifted from its foundation and placed in a temporary location on the development site. Plans call for the bridge to be disassembled into three sections and then transported via 3 flatbed trucks to its new location in Wentworth. Through private funds, the bridge will be restored and modified for use over the Baker River.

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