State DOT announces start of construction on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Construction of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge on I-95 southbound has begun.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation says work on the southbound side of the Gold Star Memorial bridge is expected to finish by November of 2018.

Long-term lane shifts and closures are expected while construction is in place.gold star memorial bridge repairs begin 3 State DOT announces start of construction on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

“We’re going to be shifting four lanes of traffic to the right side of the bridge,” said Keith Shoppe, Project Engineer with the Department of Transportation. “We’re going to have a work zone set up on the left side of the bridge so barriers will run down the middle of the bridge.”

How will they keep four lanes open? Shoppe says the secret is the ten foot shoulders which will be reduced and used for travel.gold star memorial bridge repairs begin 2 State DOT announces start of construction on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

“We need the work done. So it needs to be done,” said Brittany McLaughlin of Montville who is fine with any delays the construction might cause. “Absolutely.”

On Monday there were no delays. That’s because the initial work was being done underneath the bridge where supports were being repaired.

“We have concrete that’s been falling apart over the years,” said Shoppe. “We basically chip it out. We pour concrete patches. Replace any reinforcing steel.”

The $30-million overhaul will also replace all the old asphalt on the southbound side of the bridge, the old membrane underneath the asphalt, and all of the joints.gold star memorial bridge repairs begin 1 State DOT announces start of construction on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

“It’s a big job,” said Shoppe. “There’s 500,000 bridge deck between each bridge. So a total of a million square feet.”gold star memorial bridge repairs begin 4 State DOT announces start of construction on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

The first changes commuters will see is repainting of the lines starting Monday night. During the week the concrete barriers will be put in place with construction not expected to begin until next week.

“We feel we can accommodate everybody with the least inconvenience and have enough room to get our work done,” said Shoppe.

gold star memorial bridge repairs begin 5 State DOT announces start of construction on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

The larger part of construction to repair the northbound side of the bridge is expected to start in the spring of 2018.

 

 

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