State repairing retaining walls along Route 42

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BEACON FALLS — By next July, motorists may notice a change to the retaining walls along Route 42.

The existing metal bin walls, which have reached their extended life span, will be encapsulated behind a wall of concrete, said Jason Cichon, project engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

Work on the replacement of the retaining walls along the state road began in August, and it’s scheduled to be completed by July 1, he said.

Baier Construction Co. Inc. of Bloomfield is performing the work, Cichon said.

The cost of the project will be about $2.5 million, with state and federal funds covering the cost, he said.

Cichon said the walls were installed in the 1960s, and the life span is probably 40 to 50 years.

The project consists of replacing two walls, one about 120 feet long and another about 200 feet long, he said.

Cichon said the walls won’t be removed, but encased behind concrete. He said it was determined to be the most cost effective way.

Former state Rep. Leonard Greene Jr., a Republican who served the 105th House District, said when he was serving in the position, he had asked the DOT to look at the walls, which showed signs of wear and tear and had holes in them.

The DOT originally responded to him that nothing was deficient, he said. Greene said he took photos and sent them in an appeal to DOT Commissioner James Redeker, and the walls were re-evaluated and determined that it was time to repair them.

He has traveled by the walls since work has started.

“It’s progressing slowly but steadily,” Greene said.

Once the work’s done, the area will be much nicer to look at and much safer, he said. Motorists won’t have to see boulders peeking through the walls, Greene said.

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