Branchville bridge repair money heads to vote Jan. 8

Depot Road Bridge in Ridgefield is set to be repaired.

Depot Road Bridge in Ridgefield is set to be repaired.


More than a century old, Depot Road Bridge in Branchville is in bad shape, and town officials will be asking voters at a town meeting to approve money that will serve as the town’s share of the cost to replace the bridge — a more than $2 million project that will be largely financed by the federal government.

The town meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 in the lower level conference room of Town Hall.

Depot Road Bridge is the more northerly entrance to Branchville Train Station from Route 7.

Voters at the town meeting will be asked to approve up to a $455,000 expenditure as town’s share of the bridge replacement cost. That represents a 20% local share of a job projected to cost a total of $2,275,000.

The bridge project had originally been expected to cost the town $354,000 — a 20% share based on just the construction cost of $1,770,000.

But after the Board of Selectmen initially approved that figure, the potential for a higher cost was discussed at a Board of Finance meeting, and First Selectman Rudy Marconi returned to the selectmen to get the requested amount raised to $455,000.

The plan is to have the Depot Road Bridge replacement rolled into the Portland Avenue Bridge project, which is part of a larger Branchville TOD (transit oriented development) project designed to enhance the area to encourage future growth and broaden the town’s tax base in coming years through development there.

“Under this new project, both bridges will be replaced,” First Selectman Marconi said.

The Portland Avenue project — which includes the addition of another traffic signal light on Route 7 at the Portland Avenue intersection — is projected to cost $2.2 million, and voters have already approved a $442,000 town share for that project.