The Department of Transportation held an informational meeting at the Shelton Community Center on July 19 to discuss the replacement of Lane Street Bridge over Means Brook in Shelton.
An engineer from Milone & MacBroom, along with DOT representatives, spoke to Shelton residents about the design and cost of the bridge, when construction will begin and end, and when roads will need to be closed. They also discussed how the project will impact local homeowners and the environment.
According to the DOT, the bridge is being replaced because it 75 years-old and received a poor rating, has no sidewalks, the scour is critical and the twin culverts need replacement.
The project is at 30% of design by Milone & MacBroom. The new bridge will be 38 feet long and 24 feet, curb to curb. It will also include a five foot concrete sidewalk.
The project is currently estimated to cost $1,725,000, consisting of $1,360,000 for bridge cost, $285,000 for a temporary road, and $80,000 for a temporary bridge. The Federal government will pay 80% of the cost, administered by the CT DOT and their liaison engineer Close, Jensen & Miller, and the city of Shelton will pay the remaining 20%, said Anthony Ciriello, director of Transportation Engineering at Milone & MacBroom.
Ciriello said the project is slated to begin March 2018 and completed October 2018. Roads will be closed from May to September. A temporary road will be constructed from Lane Street cul-de-sac to Wesley Drive.
Shelton residents were concerned with the traffic when the road closes for construction, and they wanted to know if the project can be completed sooner. DOT Engineer Priti Bhardwaj said the DOT is expediting the process by using precast materials.
“We are doing the best we can, using excellent bridge construction”, Bhardwaj said.
Residents also expressed concerns that their neighborhood will lose its scenic appeal.
Renee Protomastro said after the meeting that she and her husband, Gary Everett, know they will be inconvenienced if they have to put up with road change, but they want to be sure Lane Street goes back to its character design that fits the historic design of the neighborhood.
However, Ciriello had suggested to residents to consider keeping the temporary road as an emergency exit. Some residents balked at Cariello’s suggestion, saying they want the area returned to its previous condition for esthetic reasons.
Ciriello said in an interview via telephone that having the road in place could serve as a by-pass in case of a flood at the bridge. He said by having the temporary road remain, it is the only way out if the route over tops due to a storm. However he said the decision on the temporary road is not his to make.
“Whether it stays or goes doesn’t affect getting the bridge built,” Ciriello said. “It will be a local decision.”
Also, residents with property in the area may be affected too. Michael Marzi, a representative of CT DOT Division of Rights of Way, discussed acquiring the needed property for the project. He said the DOT will have to conduct a title search, and a map will be created showing what property will be impacted.
The DOT will visit the homeowners to evaluate each needed property, giving the homeowner an opportunity to ask questions and to reveal more information to the DOT about the property. After the evaluation, an offer will be made, which if accepted; will lead to the DOT providing a check for the property.
If a homeowner does not accept an offer from the DOT, the DOT will have to acquire the property through eminent domain. However eminent domain is a last resort because the DOT prefers to work with homeowners, Marzi said.
The City of Shelton is planning to have the presentation information available on its website. City Engineer Robert Kulacz can be reached for further questions at (203) 924-1555, extension 17 or at SHELTON.ENG@CITYOFSHELTON.ORG