NEWINGTON - A $4.98 million bridge replacement project is set to begin on Route 175 this week.
The state Department of Transportation hired Torrington-based O&G Industries to do the work, beginning today, with an expected completion date of Oct. 20.
There are several bridges on the section of Route 175 close to the Route 9 interchange. The one to be replaced runs over the former Amtrak rail line beneath Cedar Street, between Fenn and Alumni roads.
In 2001, the General Assembly designated it the Lt. James T. Hall Memorial Bridge. It is located about a quarter-mile east of the bridge over CTfastrak, and construction is not expected to have any impact on the operation of the bus system.
Plans call for the bridge to be replaced by a new structure 14 feet wider and made of reinforced steel. Preliminary surveying and preparations will run overnight through July, Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
The installation is likely to begin in August, and will require closing one lane in each direction during two weekends. A single eastbound and westbound lane will be closed between 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.
State officials have planned the most significant work to take place during these periods, to minimize the impact on drivers.
“The contractor is not allowed to block any lanes or otherwise interfere with traffic during the day other than those two weekends,” DOT Transportation Engineer Paul Diorio said this week.
The specific dates of lane closures have yet to be announced, pending the progress of the preliminary phase through early summer. State officials have confirmed they will not be scheduled during holiday weekends, however.
“There will be plenty of notice,” Diorio said. “As work progresses and we get into actual construction, we’ll have a better idea what weekends will be involved.”
Drivers will be asked to expect delays or seek alternate routes during these periods.
Town officials are invited to join progress meetings with the DOT and the contractor in coming months.
The project is being funded by the state and a supplemental federal grant.
“It’s a structurally deficient bridge at this point,” Diorio said. “Widening it will accommodate bicycles and future area development the town may have in mind.”
The structure’s concrete beams will be replaced by preast steel girders. The south side of the bridge is first to be removed and new units installed. The southerly bridge deck will be widened by 7 feet. The north side will be next, also widened by seven feet. A new concrete sidewalk will be installed on the north side as well, and the road will receive new pavement, line striping and drainage.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.