NVCOG approves grant application for Burton Road project

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

A barrier blocks a section of Burton Road, shown March 23, between Wolfe Avenue and North Main Street in Beacon Falls. The section of the road has been closed since Christmas Eve due to structural issues. –ANDREAS YILMA

BEACON FALLS — Officials are putting the pieces in place to get the show on the road and repair a section of Burton Road.

The town on Christmas Eve closed the section of Burton Road from Wolfe Avenue to North Main Street to thru traffic due to structural issues and fears the road could fail.

The closed section of the road, which has a sidewalk on one side and a stone wall on the other, goes over a brook that runs behind the Beacon Mill Village apartments. The culvert under the road and the foundation of the wall have been eroding for years, and the deterioration has gotten progressively worse. This has caused the road, wall and sidewalk to shift.

Officials sought out possible state and federal funding sources for the work. In March, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments approved a grant application under the state’s Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program for the Burton Road project.

Beacon Falls already has existing LOTCIP funding. NVCOG allowed the town to have another LOTCIP project run simultaneously due to the emergency nature of the repairs needed for Burton Road.

“This project is an emergency project,” NVCOG Executive Director Rick Dunne said.

Although the grant application has been approved, how much the repairs will cost and when the work will start are to be determined.

SLR International Corporation, formerly known as Milone & MacBroom, stated in a task order for the town the project is expected to include the rehabilitation of approximately 1,400 linear feet of Burton Road from North Main Street to Highland Avenue, reconstruction of approximately 350 linear feet of the retaining wall, storm drainage improvements, replacement of catch basins and replacement of the guiderail.

SLR, which the town hires for engineering services, is doing the design and engineering work for the project at an estimated cost of $126,950. The town is responsible for the design and engineering costs.

First Selectman Gerard Smith said the town will pay for the design work with funds approved as part of a bond package for road repairs. Voters last summer approved bonding up to $5 million for road repairs, related storm water drainage and sewer improvements.

SLR has started the design work, Smith said. It was unclear when they will finish, said Smith, adding inclement weather is a big variable.

“It’s moving along as expected,” Smith said. “Weather has slowed done the process.”

SLR will provide a cost estimate for the project to NVCOG. The project will then have to go out to bid.

Dunne said the agency funds the work through LOTCIP based on the lowest bid. The program will also cover inspection and administration costs during construction, which SLR estimated it can do for $129,000.

“In this case, were not just dealing with the road pavement.” Dunne said. “We’re dealing with structures, the wall, drainage issues and other safety issues.”

If all the bids are more than the cost estimate for the project, the work will have go back before the NVCOG board of directors for approval.

The project has to have a 15-year minimal life, Dunne said.