SOUTHINGTON - Traffic at the West Center Street Extension will soon be funneled through one alternating lane as construction work to repair the bridge begins.
Keith Hayden, director of public works, said that Jersey barriers will be put in place to divide the bridge in half. NJR Construction of Torrington will demolish one half of the bridge and then reconstruct it.
After that half of the bridge is reconstructed, the other half will be closed off, demolished and reconstructed. During the second phase of the bridge reconstruction there will be two lanes of traffic.
The project, which was awarded to NJR for a $1.117 million bid, is scheduled to complete in late November.
“We will receive a 48 percent reimbursement from the state for this project,” said Hayden.
Hayden said that the bridge had been inspected by the Department of Transportation and was found to be deficient. Thus, the town applied for a grant to get it fixed. These funds have already been locked in place and won’t be affected by any potential state budget cuts this year.
“The state signed a commitment letter to ensure us that the funding will be in place for West Center Street Extension,” Hayden said. “Before we go forward on projects like this we always make sure that we have a commitment letter.”
In addition to West Center Street Extension, the town recently completed repairs last August on the Queen Street bridge. They are also currently looking into repairs for another bridge on Spring Street.
“The Spring Street project is not under design yet,” said Hayden. “We have advertised for someone to do the design work, and then we will review it. I expect that we will have the design work done within the next 32 months, or two-and-a-half years. That project will also be a complete bridge replacement and we will receive an 80 percent Federal reimbursement.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.