DOT To Explain Sugar Street Improvement Plans

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has scheduled a public informational meeting for Tuesday, February 11, on its plans to replace an antiquated bridge and to alleviate a traffic bottleneck on the section of Sugar Street (Route 302) just west of its signalized intersection with Main Street, South Main Street, and Glover Avenue.

The session is scheduled for 7 pm at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street. The inclement weather date for the meeting is Wednesday, February 26.

As part of the Sugar Street improvement project, a 14-foot-long Sugar Street bridge, which carries that road over an unnamed stream near Elm Drive, will be widened from its current width of 28 feet to 43 feet. The bridge, which was built in 1929, carries approximately 8,800 vehicles daily.

That bridge, which becomes a traffic bottleneck during the morning and evening rush periods, currently has one eastbound lane and one westbound lane. The bridge replacement project will result in two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane on the bridge. One of those two eastbound lanes on the bridge will be a “left-turn-only” lane, thus alleviating the traffic bottleneck there.

The project will involve improving an about 450-foot-long section of Sugar Street, with road improvements  being made both east and west of the bridge.

DOT civil engineer Louis Bacho, who is the project manager, said the project is scheduled to start construction in the spring of 2016 and take about seven months to complete. The new bridge will be constructed in three stages. Two lanes of traffic flow will be maintained during the project.

The project’s construction cost is projected at $1.2 million, with its design work expected to cost an additional $150,000 to $200,000, he said. About 30 percent of the design work has been done, Mr Bacho said.

Besides widening the bridge, the project will provide a larger opening for the unnamed brook to pass beneath Sugar Street.

The existing bridge consists of a single-span concrete slab that sits on stone rubble masonry abutments and wingwalls. The new bridge will employ a prefabricated box culvert.

The improvement project is intended to resolve the existing bridge’s structural deficiencies and its functional obsolescence. The bridge is structurally deficient due to its superstructure’s poor condition and is obsolete due to its relative narrowness, according to DOT.

People who are interested in reviewing the plans for the project, may contact Mr Bacho at Louis.Bacho@ct.gov or 860-594-3212.

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