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Rochambeau Bridge Reconstruction Heading Toward Temporary Channel Closure



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As part of the ongoing Rochambeau Bridge reconstruction project, the navigable channel between some of the bridge’s pillars will temporarily be closed to marine traffic.

The channel will be closed from Tuesday, September 7, through Friday, September 10.

It will be open for the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12.

It will then be closed again Monday, September 13, through Friday, September 17.

The closures are planned for the safety of the boating public during the erection of structural steel over the channel.

Additional signage on and along the water will be installed prior to the closures. If the steel is in place prior to September 17, the channel will be reopened earlier.

Construction Update

Work continues on the first of two bridges that carry Interstate 84 over the Housatonic River. Collectively referred to as the Rochambeau Bridge, Bridges 01218 and 04180 are being fully rehabilitated. Currently, the eastern bridge is carrying all lanes of traffic while the western bridge is being renovated.

The bridge also straddles the boundary between Newtown and Southbury.

The existing bridges have wide shoulders, so there is sufficient room to place two-way traffic, with two lanes in each direction, on one of the bridges while the other is reconstructed, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The first major traffic shift has placed both directions of traffic on I-84 eastbound, utilizing crossovers currently built in the median of the highway. The I-84 westbound bridge is being partially demolished and will then be reconstructed while this shift is in place.

Once the new westbound bridge is completed, traffic will be shifted onto it while the I-84 eastbound bridge is reconstructed, with temporary crossovers built in a similar manner, in the median of I-84.

Work in the river is taking place using trestles and barges. A minimum 75-foot channel width for boaters is being maintained at all times, except for major demolition and steel erection work, which requires the advanced approval of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), US Coast Guard, and Lake Zoar Authority.

The most recently completed work, as of August 30, according to the DOT, continued the erection of steel girders for the new westbound bridge.

Thirty-three of the 42 girders have been placed, including splicing of girder sections together and placement of cross frames that tie the girders to each other.

The temporary tower for steel erection in Span P3 — between the easternmost pier and the eastern abutment — was removed.

During the previous week, additional girders were installed. Crews also continued grading and placing stone stop protection in front of Abutment 1, or the western abutment.

During the week of August 30, continued delivery and erection of steel was scheduled. All but six girders were to be in place by Labor Day weekend, ahead of the temporary closure of the channel.

The six girders are scheduled to be installed during the channel closures.

Two temporary closures of the channel between the Rochambeau Bridge pillars will occur in the coming weeks. —Rochambeau Bridge reconstruction photo
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