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Mile Hill Road Drainage Project To Continue Through Winter



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The state Department of Transportation’s (DOT) urgent $3-million project to replace a major culvert, which carries Deep Brook beneath Mile Hill Road, is continuing amid wintertime conditions, with the goal of completing the work by the end of April, provided that weather conditions allow efforts to proceed.

DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said December 10 that favorable winter weather would allow off-road work at the site to be productive. The construction project is in the second of its two stages. The normal construction season runs from April 1 through November 30.

Two-way traffic is continuing to pass through the work area. That traffic is traveling on the south side of the broad Mile Hill Road, where construction work had been underway earlier this year during the first stage of the project. The work began in April. Concrete barrier rails have been set up to channel the traffic through the construction zone.

Because the project was broken into two construction stages, no detour was required for traffic.

Temporary soil supports are being installed for a 40-foot-deep trench that will be about 16 feet wide, Mr Nursick said. Such work will take another week or more to reach the full depth and width of that trench.

After the trenching is done, a seven-foot-diameter reinforced-concrete culvert will installed and then back-filled.

The affected section of Mile Hill Road will be returned to its original alignment after milder weather returns and hot-mix asphalt again becomes available for road paving.

After the new culvert is fully installed, a temporary five-foot-diameter culvert will be removed. That drainage pipe is diverting Deep Brook below Mile Hill Road farther to the west than its normal course.

After major construction is done, wetlands will be re-established on the southern and northern sides of the roadway, where the south-to-north flowing Deep Brook will enter and leave the new culvert, respectively. Rip-rap will be placed on slopes and plantings will be done.

Since last spring, the 500-foot-long section of Mile Hill Road, which lies between its intersections with Queen Street and with Mile Hill Road South, has been narrowed by concrete barrier rails to isolate traffic flow from the workers who are replacing the failed large metal culvert, which for decades had carried Deep Brook 32 feet beneath the roadway.

The collapsed 130-foot-long, six-foot-diameter corrugated-metal culvert is being replaced by a 168-foot-long reinforced concrete culvert. The new culvert is being assembled in 21 sections. Each eight-foot-long culvert section weighs 21,500 pounds, requiring that a large crane be used to move the culvert sections.

Notably, downstream of the site, Deep Brook and an adjacent section of the Pootatuck River into which Deep Brook flows, are listed by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) as one of the state’s nine Class 1 Wild Trout Management Areas. Those areas hold native brook trout, which are able to reproduce to sustain their population. That area has catch-and-release fishing regulations.

Although short in length, Mile Hill Road, which is a state road, is an key east-west link in the roadways that interconnect Route 25, Route 34, and Interstate 84.

A view of a construction zone on Mile Hill Road looking eastward on December 11. The state Department of Transportation plans to work through the winter, weather permitting, to replace a failed metallic culvert, which had carried Deep Brook beneath the roadway for decades. A larger reinforced-concrete culvert is being installed. —Bee Photo, Gorosko
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