WOODBURY – The Town of Woodbury is considering a project to rehabilitate four deteriorating bridges in town, which would receive 80% funding by the federal government.
The bridges that would be repaired are: Judson Avenue over Pomperaug River; Jacks Bridge Road Bridge over Weekeepeemee River; Minortown Road over Nonnewaug River; and Pomperaug Road over Pomperaug River.
The cost of the bridge rehabilitation would be $1.3 million and change. However, Woodbury Director of Public Works Rich Lamothe said the Town of Woodbury would see 80% reimbursement from federal aid authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP – 21), administered by the Federal Highway Administration and the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
The town’s share will be about $237,000. The town already has money put aside from the project the state recently cancelled to replace the culvert on Middle Quarter Road. That project was only going to receive 50% funding from the state.
“Instead of having that money just sitting there doing nothing, we might as well work on these four bridges,” Lamothe said. “It would be crazy not to move forward with it.”
Lamothe said the four bridges need repair, but not replacement. However, those bridges have maybe 10 years of life left in them before they need complete replacement, and the repairs could extend their lifespan for another 30 to 40 years.
“It’s like having a leaky roof,” Lamothe said. “Do you pay for needed repairs now, or do you wait for the whole roof to cave in?”
If undertaken, the bridge rehabilitation project design would be expected to begin in late 2018, with construction likely in 2020 or 2021. A Town Meeting would be held once the town determines the design and actual cost of the project.
First Selectman Bill Butterly points out that local and state policy encourages early information to citizens on such projects and encourages people to raise any concerns with municipal officials early in the planning process.