Depot Street Bridge nears completion

BEACON FALLS — The end of construction on the Depot Street Bridge is near.

After a long and intricate process, work is wrapping up on the bridge and town officials expect the project to be finished by the end of October.

All work on the bridge itself has been completed, and only roadway approach improvements and curbing work remains unfinished.

Work on the Depot Street Bridge (pictured here in October 2009, before it was painted) is expected to wrap up near the end of the month.

One of the phases of the project was painting the top facing of the bridge. The bridge was painted in two stages and a large tarp covered the bridge for the majority of this summer. The north facing side of the bridge was completed first, followed by the south face.

Prior to painting, the contractor performed structural repairs to reinforce the underside of the bridge, which was among the most time time-consuming aspects of the project.

Beacon Falls First Selectman Susan Cable said no traffic issues are expected near the bridge due to ongoing road work. She added some touch-up paint may be needed before the project is entirely finished.

Officials hope the revamped bridge, which was added to National Register of Historic Places in March 2007, will make residents want to observe its beauty upon completion.

“I think the fact that we have a beautiful, historic, redone bridge is going to bring a lot of people out to see it,” Cable said. “There were a lot of steps that led up to this completion. It wasn’t easy. I am just absolutely thrilled it will be finished soon; I can’t wait for our dedication. This has been something myself and others have been working on for a very long time.”

The funding for the bridge construction was acquired through numerous grants, including six different federal grants.

Cable, a Democrat, praised state and federal officials, including state Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-Woodbridge) and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-New Haven), for working to obtain the funding and helping bring money for such projects into the town of Beacon Falls. The length of the project was directly correlated to the long process of obtaining grant money, she said.

“We fought for that grant money hard,” Cable said. “It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t quick. It took a lot of steps in Hartford with the Department of Transportation to get it done, but it’s going to be done and that’s the most important thing here.”

Cable added she is excited about the aesthetic enhancement the newly refurbished bridge will provide the downtown Beacon Falls area as well as the safe access it will provide to various industrial and commercial businesses and the Pent Road Recreation Complex.

Completion of the project, she said, will complement the streetscape project that is schedule to begin Nov. 1 in the surrounding downtown area.