Sugar Hollow bridge in need of repair
The bridge on Sugar Hollow Road has been reduced to one lane of alternating traffic until further notice following an inspection by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), which determined the bridge is in need of repair.
The 28-foot-long bridge was built in 1930 to carry Sugar Hollow Road over the Norwalk River and consists of reinforced concrete tee-beams supported by stone masonry abutments.
Robert Zaffetti, manager of the DOT’s Bridge Safety & Evaluation, said the bridge has been rated “poor” since 2002, and repairs need to be made to its “deteriorated exterior beams.”
The bridge was last inspected by HAKS Engineers on Oct. 20, 2016, according to a DOT report.
Zaffetti said average daily traffic on the bridge is about 300 vehicles, with up to 5% of those being trucks.
According to the report, not only are the bridge’s beams deteriorating, but there is also “section loss” to its main “rebar,” otherwise known as reinforcement steel.
Until repairs are made, the town has restricted the bridge to one lane of travel, “focusing on center of the bridge and staying away from the edges,” said Mike Ahern, interim director of Wilton’s Department of Public Works (DPW).
This has been done “in order to ensure safe passage,” according to a road advisory sent out by the Wilton Police Department on Thursday, Dec. 28.
“Our Design Office has been in contact with the town of Wilton on explaining various funding options early last year,” Zaffetti told The Bulletin in a Dec. 29 email.
Priti Bhardwaj, supervising engineer of the DOT’s Local Bridge Program, said the bridge qualifies for Federal Local Bridge Funds, which means 80% in federal funds and 20% in town funds could be used for the design, right-of-way and construction phases of the project.
Ahern said the DPW will “hopefully” meet with DOT field engineers to discuss the repairs “in the next couple weeks.”