The project to reconstruct the Memorial Blvd Bridge across the Pequabuck River at the eastern end is scheduled to start within the next few weeks. The lackluster Bridge was originally constructed in 1921.
The DOT rated the bridge as fair requiring rehabilitation.
The project will consist of retrofitting the existing superstructure to support expanded design loads, removal of the existing center pier, construction of new bridge deck along with roadway, sidewalk and bridge abatements
The renovations will also provide safer passage for vehicles and pedestrians over the Pequabuck River. The average daily traffic flow is around 11,000 according to the DOT.
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said “This is a significant and historic Gateway, and with the renovation of the school and theater it is only going to increase in prominence.”
Trademark Construction was awarded the contract to perform the structural bridge rehabilitation and granite facade of the bridge. To make the bridge a true gateway into the city additional monument pillars and lighting were recently added.
Zoppo-Sassu credited Public Works Director Ray Rogozinski for suggesting the idea of doing something with gateway treatments since the bridge was going to be rehabilitated. From there, conceptual designs were brought to various commissions for input.
The bridge design has been endorsed by various city committees/groups including the board of public works, park board and the veterans committee.
The $2.9 million Memorial Blvd bridge rehabilitation project is eligible for 49% of State funding as part of the State/Local bridge program. The State will also reimburse the city for any design costs.