The 32 town-owned bridges that are more than 20 feet in length are each subject to inspection by the state every two years. In May, the southbound lane of the Spring Road Bridge failed its inspection by the Department of Transportation.
On Monday, Sept. 24 at North Haven High School, residents will gather at a town meeting to decide whether to pass a bond resolution in the amount of $700,000 to re-construct the lane.
"It is a highly travelled roadway in town," said Lynn Sadosky, director of public works, of the bridge. She noted that Spring Road handles traffic from East Haven to the Winchester Drive area to local traffic.
"Two of the main girders are deteriorated to the point where they are not safe," said Town Engineer Jonathan Bodwell. He said the Spring Road Bridge was the first in North Haven to fail inspection in a number of years.
The southbound lane will require re-construction, Bodwell said.
Sadosky said the state has already committed $206,017 from its Local Bridge Program toward the estimated $700,000 cost. Still, Rich Monico, who chairs the Board of Finance, said the town would approve a bonding resolution that covers the entire projected $700,000.
"Once you bond it, you don't have to take it," Monico said. "The state is slow sometimes. The town will bond for what [the project] will cost but will only borrow what it needs."
According to Sadosky, the Spring Road Bridge was constructed in 1954. The average age of the bridges in North Haven is 45 years, she said. The Spring Road Bridge crosses the Muddy River, which is a tributary of the Quinnipiac River. The bridge has a span length of 31 feet.
Should the resolution pass, Sadosky said she expected preparation of the designs for re-construction of one lane of the bridge to take place this October and November, with permitting received from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Projection and also the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by the end of March next year. She said she expects construction to begin in April and conclude by July of 2013.
In the interim, cars continue to traverse Spring Road, albeit at a slow pace, beneath the magnificent trees that rim the dappled street. Monico noted that the signage surrounding the bridge has slowed traffic. "It's not a straight run anymore," he said.