Work is progressing on the town’s project to replace the Poverty Hollow Road bridge that crosses the Aspetuck River near the parking lot entrance to Centennial Watershed State Forest.
Town Engineer Ronald Bolmer said this week said that the target date for project completion is August 15. Work started on June 9.
Mr Bolmer said the town has received no complaints about the detour which has been created to divert through-traffic away from road section where the new bridge is being constructed to replace a bridge that was built about 80 years ago.
Fortunately, work crews found that the construction area has good quality sandy, gravelly soils which lend themselves to such projects, Mr Bolmer said.
On Monday, July 14, five reinforced-concrete segments of a box culvert to be installed in the Aspetuck River stood on Poverty Hollow Road alongside the construction site.
The bridge project will involve installing three parallel segmented box culverts through which the Aspetuck River will flow beneath Poverty Hollow Road, Mr Bolmer said.
Sand and gravel will be placed on the lower interior surfaces of the box culverts to establish a riverbed within the structures.
The new bridge will be 30 feet wide, almost double the width of the span that it replaces. The new bridge will be 40 feet long.
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 is building the bridge for the town at a cost of about $343,000.
During the bridge construction project, the nearby parking lot for the 15,300-acre state forest remains open. The forest is in Newtown, Redding, Easton, and Weston.
A northern roadblock to through-traffic is positioned on Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown, just south of its intersection with Farm Meadow Road and Hopewell Road.
In Redding, a southern roadblock is located on Poverty Hollow Road, just north of its intersection with Church Hill Road.
Although there is no through-traffic on a 2.2-mile section of Poverty Hollow Road while the bridge construction is underway, local traffic is 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.
During the Poverty Hollow Road closure, through-traffic that would normally use the affected 2.2-mile section of that road is being diverted to roads including Hopewell Road in Newtown, and Hopewell Woods Road, Black Rock Turnpike, and Church Hill Road in Redding. Signs are posted to indicate the detour.
The old Poverty Hollow Road bridge did not meet modern standards. Due to its narrowness, accidents occurred in which the exterior left rear-view mirrors of approaching vehicles collided with each other as the vehicles passed in opposite directions.
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 several years ago on northern Boggs Hill Road near its intersection with Sugar Street.