Waterford bridge work should be done by Sept. 30

Waterford - The state Department of Transportation anticipates it will complete reconstruction of the bridge on Route 1 over Stony Brook by Sept. 30.

Robert Obey, assistant engineer for DOT District 2, said that weather has delayed some parts of the $2.7 million project.

He said high water levels in the summer of 2012 pushed back foundation construction and that the extended cold and large amount of precipitation this winter kept construction workers off site more than anticipated.

"I would say, by September 30 we have to be out of the water, and for all intents and purposes, the job is substantially complete," he said.

A DOT construction schedule shows that work began August 2012 and was originally slated for completion September 2013.

Obey said that the start date of construction posed problems, because it came at the end of the four-month window within which the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection allows construction in the water.

The foundation is underwater, and so can only be worked on June through September.

Construction could have been completed more quickly were the town to close the bridge and set up a detour during construction, according to Obey.

"Those things have to be factored into the schedule," he said.

First Selectman Daniel Steward said the town did not want to set up a detour because it would route traffic through small side roads.

"A detour would be through a lot of residential sections," he said. "We would rather wait."

Some town officials have expressed mild frustration with the time construction is taking.

John "Bill" Sheehan, who sits on the Board of Finance, said the frustrations are "just our general grouching."

"We just think it takes [DOT] longer to do things than we think it should," he said.


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