Starting on Monday, June 9, the town will close the southern section of Poverty Hollow Road to through-traffic for a construction project that will replace the Poverty Hollow Road bridge that crosses above the Aspetuck River, just south of the parking lot entrance for Centennial Watershed State Forest.
That parking lot provides access to the 15,300-acre state forest which lies in Newtown, Redding, Easton, and Weston. The parking lot is expected to remain open to forest users during the bridge construction project.
A northern roadblock to through-traffic will be placed on Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown, just south of its intersection with Farm Meadow Road and Hopewell Road.
In Redding, a southern roadblock will be placed on Poverty Hollow Road, just north of its intersection with Church Hill Road.
Although there will be no through-traffic on that 2.2-mile section of Poverty Hollow Road while the bridge construction is underway, local traffic will be allowed in that area.
Besides automobile traffic, Poverty Hollow Road is a popular route for bicyclists. Like motorists, bicyclists may use the posted detours in the area.
Town officials are seeking to have the bridge replacement project completed by August 15.
During the Poverty Hollow Road closure, through-traffic that would normally use the affected 2.2-mile section of that road will be diverted to parallel roads, including Hopewell Road in Newtown, and Hopewell Woods Road, Black Rock Turnpike, and Church Hill Road in Redding.
Signs will be posted to indicate the detour.
David Bratz, Newtown deputy director of public works, said that Poverty Hollow Road would close to through-traffic on the morning of June 9, when work crews start the project.
A curve in the road near the bridge will be straightened as part of the work, he said.
Town Engineer Ronald Bolmer said the bridge replacement project will increase the bridge width from about 16 feet to 30 feet.
The existing bridge, which is about 80 years old, does not meet modern standards. Due to the bridge’s narrowness, accidents occur in which the exterior left rear-view mirrors of approaching vehicles collide with each other as vehicles pass in opposite directions, he said.
The concrete superstructure of the bridge has deteriorated, requiring that it be replaced with a new span, he said. The new bridge will be 40 feet long. The span will rest atop three box culverts.
The project will include about 290 linear feet of new paving in that area.
Guardrailing and stormwater drainage structures will be installed.
Nagy Brothers Construction Company Inc of Monroe will construct the bridge for the town at a cost of about $343,000, Mr Bolmer said.
Poverty Hollow Road carries a sizable volume of traffic during the morning and evening rush periods. The north-south road provides a access for Newtowners to Black Rock Turnpike (Route 58) and southern Fairfield County.
The Poverty Hollow Road bridge replacement project will be similar to the bridge replacement project that the town performed on northern Boggs Hill Road near its intersection with Sugar Street several years ago, Mr Bolmer said.