State Lawmakers, Mayor Dickinson Announce New Earlier Anticipated Completion Date for Center Street Bridge

October 23, 2019

Following efforts by state lawmakers and Wallingford’s mayor to fast-track the Center Street Bridge project, state officials have obtained a new estimated completion date from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Center Street Bridge Project 148-201 of May 25, 2021.

The earlier completion date was shared by the DOT with Senator Len Fasano, Representative Craig Fishbein, Representative Mary Mushinsky and Mayor William Dickinson after meeting with the lawmakers.

Following multiple delays on the project which has been managed by the DOT since it began in 2016, state lawmakers and Mayor Dickinson have worked together to communicate with the DOT about the local problems caused by the delays and the reasons for postponements in order to advance the project forward in a more timely manner.

DOT officials met with Senator Fasano, Representative Fishbein, Representative Mushinsky and Mayor Dickinson after hearing extensively from the public and business owners and witnessing first-hand the inactivity, inconvenience and delays associated with the project. At the meeting the mayor’s office and legislative delegation expressed their frustration with the DOT for the delay and pressed DOT officials on the reasons for the delay and a timeline for the bridge completion, which DOT had previously pushed back to 2022.

DOT officials informed the delegation that the bridge has been a challenge for the state and contractor since phase one which included the demolition of the northern span and moving traffic to the remaining southern span. Once the span was removed, the contractor grew concerned over the integrity of the existing bridge abutments that were built in 1914 and feared that the remaining structure could be compromised and didn’t feel comfortable working under the structure safely. Adding to the delays, the relocation of a variety of utilities slowed the process. Work was halted and a redesign of the project ensued between the DOT and the contractor thus delaying the project for one year. Other issues included a provision by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) that restricted work on the bridge between the months of October and June. Work was not allowed in the water per DEEP, but this restriction was waived in 2019, and the DOT is now negotiating a waiver for 2020. The wavier allows the contractor to work all winter and through the restricted time period. However, that work remains weather and temperature dependent.

As of early September, the contractor was back on site, currently performing most work under the bridge. The remaining work schedule for Center Street Bridge is as follows:

  • Currently in Stage 2 Construction, Micropiles for earth retaining system installed.
  • Upcoming 2019 season work includes placement of new concrete bridge abutments, north side.
  • 2020 season work includes completion of the northern portion of the new bridge, transitioning traffic onto the new structure, and demolition and replacement of the south side of the new bridge.
  • 2021 season work includes final bridge paving, landscaping, and sidewalk and curb work.
  • Revised date of completion: May 25, 2021.

The legislative delegation will continue to work with the mayor, DOT and all stakeholders and update the community with any new developments.