State plans to shift the travel lanes on two Interstate-84 bridges, which cross above Center Street in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook, in preparation for a two-year dual bridge reconstruction project have been delayed for technical reasons, according to a state Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesman.
DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said this week that state officials are reviewing an issue concerning eastbound I-84’s existing bridge pavement geometry that must be resolved before a lane shift could be created on that bridge.
That technical review likely would delay the start of the bridge project for one month or two months, or potentially even for one year until a solution can be found and implemented, Mr Nursick said.
The lane shift construction work on the eastbound and the westbound bridges had been scheduled to start on April 1 and to proceed through April 19.
The 100-foot-long bridges are located about 900 feet west of the Housatonic River. The parallel bridges lie about 90 feet apart from one another.
Each of the two I-84 bridges carries two lanes of traffic. When the lane shifts on the two bridges are created, two lanes of traffic will continue traveling on the two bridges, with one of those two lanes occupying what are now road shoulders.
Last August, the DOT awarded Manafort Brothers, Inc, a contract to reconstruct the two I-84 bridges at a cost of $5.9 million.
While the I-84 bridge reconstruction is underway, traffic in Riverside would be detoured and/or halted briefly, as necessary, to allow construction to proceed.
The I-84 bridges have deteriorated sooner than anticipated and thus need to be replaced. The bridges’ prestressed concrete beams are in poor condition due to cracking. The bridges were built in 1977 and 1978. Bridges typically are designed to last for 75 years of traffic service.
The bridge project would include replacing the bridges’ concrete girders and also the concrete deck slabs. Two-way traffic would be maintained in each direction on I-84 at all times during the construction project through the use of staged-construction techniques.
Because the state right-of-way in the bridge area is approximately 350 feet wide, the state will not need to acquire rights-of-way for the project.
The bridge reconstruction project initially had been scheduled to start in the summer of 2012.