Ridgefield studies bridge re-opening
A temporary reopening of the Depot Road Bridge might be possible, and is being looked into by the town.
First Selectman Rudy Marconi told the Board of Selectmen’s Jan. 22 meeting that he’s been investigating having a study done with ground penetrating radar, to see if there’s metal rebar in the bridge’s deteriorating cement.
If there is rebar in the cement, a temporary fix on the bridge might be possible that would allow it to be reopened to cars — though not to trucks, Marconi said.
The 109-year-old Depot Road Bridge — the more northerly of the two entrances to Branchville Train Station from Route 7 — was closed by the state due to safety concerns last fall.
A $2-million bridge replacement project was approved at a town meeting Wednesday night, Jan. 8. It’s expected to cost local taxpayers about $455,000.
But it could be a while before the state project gets started, and then completed.
So, Marconi has been looking into the ground penetrating radar study as a first step toward seeing if the bridge can be reopened to cars.
“We did get an estimate,” Marconi said of the study. “It’s about $25,000.”
The cost of the ground penetrating radar study would be “a minimum of $15,000,” he said, and if there is rebar in the bridge’s cement, it could be another $10,000 for engineers to do a “rating” which would determine if the bridge could be safely reopened to cars.
The replacement of the Depot Road Bridge is the first step in a larger plan that also includes the replacement of the Portland Avenue Bridge at the southern end of the train station, where plans call for another traffic light on Route 7.
The Portland Avenue Bridge replacement project grew out of the long-planned Branchville Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project, which is seen as path to economic revitalization of the Branchville area.