Norwich voters could be asked to approve road, bridge funding

Norwich - Residents' support for $10 million in road paving and bridge repair bonds have helped the city repave about 25 percent of the city's road network over the past five years, a success rate that likely will lead to a request from the Public Works Department for a third paving referendum.

Residents in 2006 and 2009 approved road and infrastructure repair bonds of $5 million each. The 2006 bond has been spent, while $2.6 million remains in the 2009 bond, Public Works Director Barry Ellison told the City Council Tuesday.

Ellison said about $1.7 million will be spent to pave more roads this year, but targeting several major streets, including Main Street, Broadway, Church Street, Canterbury Turnpike and Hickory Street. Another $800,000 would be needed to cover the local matches for several major bridge projects funded through state and federal grants. These include the Sherman Street Bridge, with an estimated $400,000 local match and repairs to the Pleasant Street bridge and the historic stone bridge on Sunnyside Street in Yantic.

Those projects would nearly exhaust the bond funding, Ellison said, and he is planning to come to the council for a third referendum bond for road paving and bridge work. Ellison said he does not yet have a proposed amount for a new referendum bond, but the bond could repave streets in Greeneville, Nordon Village, Cherry Hill and Cork Hill areas. Smaller bridges less than 20 feet long would be targeted for repair and part of the bond could be used for local matching shares for proposals to relocate the city boat launch and to creating fishing docks at Norwich Harbor.

c.bessette@theday.com

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