Tuesday night, the Connecticut Department of Transportation held a public meeting in Town Hall explaining its plan to replace a 13-foot bridge on Route 1 in Waterford at a cost of $3.4 million.
The project won’t happen until 2015 at the earliest, with 80 percent of the funding for the project coming from the federal government and the remaining 20 percent from the state government. The construction will take more than a year to complete, as an alternate bridge will be constructed to divert traffic, according to DOT officials.
The bridge is located just past Reynolds Lane and runs over Jordan Brook. The bridge, which has a 13-foot span, was originally built in 1916 and has an average of 14,000 vehicles drive across it daily. The bridge is in poor condition and needs to be replaced, according to the DOT.
The DOT held the meeting to garner input from the public, although only two members of the public showed. One member of the public asked some questions, although no concerns were raised.
Some property will have to be acquired to complete the project, with eminent domain a possibility, according to DOT officials. The property will only be needed during construction and then will be returned afterwards, and the property is currently undeveloped, according to the DOT.
The DOT is currently designing the project and won't be ready to start construction on it until 2015 at the earliest, according to Tim Ryan, a engineer hired by the DOT to help design the project. After completion, the bridge will be one-foot higher, so it is less likely to flood in a storm, according to Ryan.
If everything goes correctly, the construction will begin in April of 2015, according to Jeff Koerner of Purcell Associates, a company hired by the DOT to help design the project. The first step of the project would be building a temporary bridge next to the existing bridge, he said.
Then, traffic will be diverted onto that bridge while the bridge on Route 1 is replaced, Koerner said. That will probably take a year or so to do, he said.
Koerner said traffic will flow through the temporary bridge during construction, which will be a narrow road and will likely slow down traffic. However, it will be much quicker than closing a lane, which will have much more of an impact on traffic, Koerner said.