4 months and $ 650,000 needed to repair the Norwalk Bridge

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NORWALK – The Keelers Brook Bridge, damaged by a tropical storm in July, will undergo a four-month, $ 650,000 repair, with plans for a reopening in January.

The bridge, damaged by Tropical Storm Elsa, sustained a crack along the yellow line of the road with more severe damage below the bridge, said Norwalk senior civil engineer Paul Sotnik.

“This is a complete failure of the stone vault due to the storm and the heavy, short-lived rains, which resulted in the washing or stripping of the foundations,” Sotnik said.

The Common Council’s finance and complaints committee approved the redress plan at its meeting on Thursday.

Engineering firm Freeman Companies, hired to perform an analysis of the bridge, offered four repair / rebuild options in August.

Of the four options – two repair plans and two replacement plans – the consultant recommended Norwalk pursue a full bridge replacement for $ 600,000, maintaining the same hydraulic capacity as the current bridge, according to city ​​documents.

In the end, the city chose to continue manufacturing and installing a new secret box for $ 650,000,city ​​documents spectacle.

“We want to be able to open the road as soon as possible, and the new gearbox cover would emulate the existing hydraulic capacity and not let more water through than is currently going through the culvert. So no flooding downstream and it won’t hold water downstream, ”Sotnik said.

By opting for a covered caisson with the same hydraulic capacity, the city can speed up the licensing process and avoid the additional approvals required if it chooses to change the hydraulic capacity of the bridge or build a larger bridge, Sotnik said.

“This is one of the reasons we chose this secret box,” Sotnik said. “We need to go a little further to ensure that both the Connecticut DEEP Conservation and Fisheries Fisheries are met. There will be a low flow for the fish to spawn, but the bottom saves us from having to put deeper foundations on either side. “

The new front and box cover will be in faux stone to match the aesthetics of the Rowayton Avenue neighborhood and have a lifespan of around 75 years, Sotnik said.

With a meeting and likely approval from the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection scheduled for Nov. 1, the city’s Engineering and Construction Division hopes to begin the repair process. next month, Sotnik said.

The manufacture of the secret box and the down payment / construction will each take around a month, he added. Temporarily, the road will be reopened between the end of January and the beginning of February.

Repair costs will come from the capital budget bond, said Norwalk CFO Henry Dachowitz.

“It’s a big thing, and normally we have a full year process where we check everything, but it’s an emergency. Obviously we need it, ”said Dachowitz. “We have enough cash from past bonds to be able to pay this off quickly and we will top it up the next time we launch bonds.”

The bridge was the first closed July 14 after the tropical storm brought 6 inches of rain to the city within 24 hours of the previous week. A crack in the road about 2 inches wide and 10 to 15 feet long developed in the days following the storm.

“The scour there was about 4 feet deep, 10 feet in the culvert and the entire width of the culvert 10 feet,” Sotnik said. “When I saw the situation there and saw what had been cleaned up in the northwest corner of the foundation that supports the arch of the bridge, there was no doubt that the road needed to be closed immediately.”

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