The budget for the job is $52.87 million and is being financed by CTDOT.
The reconstruction of two adjoining bridges on I-84 over the Housatonic River in Newtown and Southbury, Conn., which began in June 2020 and is scheduled for completion in December 2023, has reached a milestone and is proceeding ahead of schedule.
"The westbound bridge has been completed and we're now in the process of constructing a new crossover that allows us to put east and west bound traffic on a new bridge, so we're halfway through and expect to have the eastbound bridge up by the end of this year," said Christopher Zukowski, project manager of the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
Andrew Walter, project manager of Middlesex Corp., Littleton, Mass., the contractor on the job, added, "We completed the westbound bridge and now we're working on the crossover to switch traffic. We're aiming to get the second bridge erected before winter — that's the goal."
The key construction equipment for this portion of the job includes two Link-Belt 348 300-ton cranes and Poseidon sectional barges, Walter said.
Describing the work performed from April 4 to 18, the Rochambeau bridge website reported, "We continued excavating and grading the median for the eastbound crossover, placed temporary drainage lines, placed process aggregate base and cleaned the south side of the new westbound deck of all debris. We placed membrane waterproofing on the south side of the new westbound deck, placed processed aggregate base for the eastbound crossover in the median on both sides of the bridge and began paving the deck and crossovers. We paved the southern half of the Rochambeau Bridge and began paving the median crossover on the Southbury side of the bridge and placed graded compacted aggregate base for the median crossover on the Newtown side."
After the construction of the westbound bridge was completed, traffic is being shifted onto the new bridge while the eastbound bridge is being reconstructed with temporary crossovers being built in a similar manner in the median of I-84.
Work in the river will take place using work trestles and barges, with a minimum 75-ft. channel width for boaters to be maintained at all times, except for major demolition and steel erection work, which requires temporary channel closures and the advanced approval of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard.
"The trestles give us access to the wetland areas," Walter said. "There are two bridges parallel to each other and to demolish one and get across the river, we need the trestles. The barges give us access in the deep water and are the key to making the job work."
Zukowski said there have been no major problems with the job to date.
"There was a shortage of primer associated with the cold applied two part epoxy membrane, so we did a substitution of woven glass membrane, but that affected many CTDOT jobs and we remained on schedule."
Walter added, "The job is running smoothly, thanks to our strong project team and great working relationship with CTDOT."
The project started in June 2020 with completion expected by December 2023. When asked why the project will take more than three years to complete, Walter said, "It is the complete reconstruction of a highway, so it takes that long to complete. There are major shifts of traffic through all project stages. However, because of the flexible access methods provided by the sectional barges, we're ahead of schedule and it's a lot safer for the traveling public to travel freely through the site without regular lane closures."
The budget for the job is $52.87 million and is being financed by CTDOT. CEG
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