Work recommences on Center Street bridge in Wallingford

Work recommences on Center Street bridge in Wallingford

WALLINGFORD — Work on the Center Street bridge replacement project restarted last week.

“This is the typical start-up timeframe for most projects that (were) on hold over the winter season,” said Kevin Nursick, state Department of Transportation spokesman, via email.

State officials announced in March that they pushed the expected completion date to 2022. Construction began in 2016.

“We’re pleased that the project is continuing,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said. “It’s an important highway for travel east and west. It’s in the best interest of everyone that it’s finished sooner rather than later.”

Center Street is part of state Route 150.

Construction had stopped for more than a year as DOT engineers assessed the stability of the bridge and modified the existing plan.

The DOT, which is responsible for maintenance because Route 150 is a state road, previously rated the century-old bridge over Wharton Brook structurally deficient and recommended replacement.

The bridge replacement is being done in two phases to maintain traffic flow. Cars were pushed to the south side of the bridge, and the north side was demolished.

Construction delays began when the contractor, New Haven-based C.J. Fucci, raised concerns that demolition work on the abutments could destabilize the support structure.

DOT found the bridge was stable but the plan needed to be redesigned. Nursick has said the changes will add about $2 million over the original cost estimate of $3.9 million.

After the announcement of the 2022 completion date last month, Vinny Ianuzzi, owner of Vinny’s Deli, ran a free sandwich promotion for customers who allowed employees to film them singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Ianuzzi, whose business is located next to the bridge, planned to post the videos online, part of a campaign to grab the attention of legislators.

“It’s ridiculous,” Ianuzzi said last month. “The Q Bridge was done in nine years, and this is going to take seven years?”
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