Work on 2 Berlin bridges set for completion this year

Published on Tuesday, 6 March 2018 21:22
Written by Charles Paullin


BERLIN - Two town bridges are expected to be completed during this year’s construction season.

High Road will be closed to through traffic between Glen Street and Winchell Drive from April 15 to Oct. 1 for completion of the replacement of a bridge over the Mattabesset River that was suspended last year.

“We suspended the project last year due to a material supply issue,” Deputy Public Works Director Jim Horbal said. “We didn’t want the project to get started midseason last year and end up with a closure through the winter. So we spoke to the contractor, extended the time frame to get started, so that on or about April 1, they’ll commence with the construction.”

The contract, which stipulates that the work be completed within 180 calendar days, was awarded to Martin Laviero Contractor Inc. last year with a price tag just over $1 million. Half of the project will be funded by the state, half locally.

The bridge, built in 1958, was inspected by the state DOT earlier in the decade and classified in poor condition with minor deficiencies that have now reached the point at which the bridge needs to be replaced, Horbal said.

The Farmington Avenue bridge over the Mattabesset River near Mill Street is expected be fully finished this year, Horbal added. Major work was done last year and the bridge was reopened at the end of 2017. Only minor items, including landscaping, remain to be done.

The project, which began in the summer of 2016 after a delay caused by contamination found on the site is expected to finish with a cost of $2.9 million, about $450,000 more than what was expected. The contamination was traced to a nearby gas station, town officials said.

The Farmington Avenue project is being funded 80 percent by the Federal Highway Administration, 10 percent by the state Department of Transportation and 10 percent by the town.

Planned bridge projects on Spruce Brook Road, over Spruce Brook, and Burnham Street, over the Mattabesset Riverm are waiting for funding, Horbal said. The projects, priced at $578,886 and just over $1 million respectively, lost their state funding earlier in the year when Gov. Dannel Malloy stripped $4.3 million from the Special Transportation Fund.

Horbal said the Spruce Brook Road project was recently discussed with the state DOT, the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Marine’s Fisheries Divisions and the Army Corps of Engineers. It should get final approval to go to bid in the near future, in anticipation of receiving the necessary money, Horbal said.

Burnham Street Bridge went to bid and has a contractor lined up to begin work once the funds become available.

Plans for federally funded bridge repairs on Worthington Ridge and Berlin Street over the Mattabesset River, Wildermere Road over Belcher Brook and Heritage Drive over Stockings Brook are also progressing.

Horbal said the town recently interviewed consultants about design plans for minor, aesthetic improvements. The project probably won’t go out to bid until spring 2019, he added.

The town is also looking to get started with its annual 5 1/2 miles of road repair and sidewalk replacement in mid- to late April. The list of roads to be paved this year should be finalized within the next week or so.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin on Tuesday, 6 March 2018 21:22. Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2018 21:25.