Workers returning for final touches on Wallingford bridge after delays, cost overruns

Workers returning for final touches on Wallingford bridge after delays, cost overruns

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WALLINGFORD — Neighborhood residents and motorists may again see work crews back at the Center Street bridge this month.

Kevin Nursick, state Department of Transportation spokesperson, said this week that while bridge work is “essentially complete and to specifications,” there are “punch-list” items — described as minor work — that remain to be completed.

“Punch list items are minimal in nature and have little if any impact on the motoring public,” Nursick said via email.

For example, he said, if a silt fence needs to be removed, the proper way to remove it allows grass to grow before doing so, stabilizing and supporting the area with vegetation prior to removing the fence.

Nursick said there’s no particular schedule for the contractor, New Haven-based C.J Fucci, to complete punch-list items at this time, but “everything should be wrapped up by the end of April and the project will be complete.”

He added that depending on how fast the grass grows, the silt fence and some construction signs may remain in place a little longer than the end of the month.

Crews reached substantial completion on the Center Street bridge replacement last fall, but construction began in 2016 and faced significant delays during the course of the project.

After the north side of the bridge was demolished, the contractor 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. Adjustments included installing bracing on the bridge as well as micropiles, which are reinforcements installed into the ground.

Work restarted in April 2019, after construction had been stopped for more than a year as DOT engineers assessed the stability of the bridge and modified the existing plan.

The changes added about $2 million to the original cost estimate, raising the current contract value to nearly $5.7 million.

Most of the additional cost is associated with the micropile system that was needed to stabilize the area, Nursick said in September.

LTakores@record-journal.com203-317-2212Twitter: @LCTakores

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