Naugatuck, Beacon Falls officials back agreement for bridge project

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Naugatuck and Beacon Falls officials have approved an agreement for a joint project to repair the Beacon Valley Road Bridge, shown Dec. 2, which is on the border of the two municipalities. –ANDREAS YILMA

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck and Beacon Falls officials have reached an agreement on a joint project to repair the Beacon Valley Road Bridge.

The bridge straddles the border of the municipalities and connects Beacon Valley Road in Beacon Falls and Cotton Hollow Road in Naugatuck.

The stone bridge was built in 1933 and has corrugated metal arches with stone masonry headwalls. The arches are founded on masonry footings with concrete caps, which have heavily eroded, according to a memorandum from Milone and MacBroom, an engineering firm based in Cheshire. The steel angles anchoring the arches to the footings have been damaged, according to the memorandum.

The planned repairs include securing the foundation with concrete around the base of the arches at the abutments and center pier. The masonry will also be repointed where there are cracks and loose stones.

“We were going to replace the bridge, but it’s been determined the bridge doesn’t have to replaced,” Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. “It can be repaired.”

The work is estimated to cost $327,950, according to officials. Beacon Falls has been approved for a $159,613 grant from the state Department of Transportation for the project. That leaves about $168,337, which the towns will split evenly at $84,168 each under an agreement officials have approved.

“I’m happy with it,” Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith said.

Smith signed the agreement in September.

“We were always looking to split the cost,” Smith said.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses unanimously approved entering into the agreement at its Dec. 1 meeting.

“It’s a natural resolution to a longstanding problem,” Hess said on the agreement.

The borough has $100,000 earmarked in its five-year capital budget for the project, Public Works Director James Stewart said.

Beacon Falls officials are taking the lead to restore the bridge.

Smith said Milone and MacBroom, which provides engineering services for Beacon Falls, will do the final design and put the project out to bid.  

Smith said the town wants to do the bridge work in conjunction with a planned project to repair Beacon Valley Road from the bridge to the Naugatuck town line near New Haven Road.

“We want to systemically get all of that done at once,” Smith said.

In August, Beacon Falls voters approved bonding up to $5 million for road repairs in town. Smith said officials are also hoping to get a $1 million grant through the state’s Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program to help with the road work.

Milone and MacBroom is handling the whole process and will also seek bids for the road work, according to Smith.

“I expect to go out on bid for everything by the first of the year, with or without the grant,” Smith said.