Stamford’s East Main Street I-95 overpass to be replaced

STAMFORD — The State Bond Commission has OK’d $20 million to replace the 60-year-old bridge that spans Interstate 95 on East Main Street, near where it intersects Courtland Avenue.

The project is scheduled to go out to bid Feb. 28, according to a statement from state Sen. Carlo Leone and state Rep. Dan Fox, Democrats from Stamford.

Funding for the work on one of the heaviest-traveled bridges in Connecticut comes from the 2015 state bonding bill, Leone said in the statement. East Main Street is Route 1, a state road.

“Even with some of the difficult financial choices we are facing regarding transportation infrastructure projects in Connecticut, this Route 1 bridge replacement is a priority and is something we’re committed to getting done,” Leone said in the statement.

The project includes safety netting for the bridge, which has a fence that is only about waist-high. It has been the site of a number of suicides in recent years.

Traffic will be rerouted during construction, expected to begin this summer. The project should be completed in fall 2020, state Department of Transportation officials have said.

“Investing in transportation is necessary for our state economy and job growth,” Fox said in the statement. “The bridge replacement project will be a huge infrastructure improvement for the district.”

The new bridge will be built beside the old one. Then, in one weekend, the old one will be lifted out and the new one dropped in its place, DOT officials have said. The method is called Accelerated Bridge Construction and was used to replace an I-84 overpass in Southington.

The East Main Street bridge, built in 1958, carries 30,000 vehicles a day over a portion of I-95 that has an average traffic volume of 140,000 vehicles a day, according to the statement.

The condition of the concrete deck is rated “poor” and the steel beams are rated “satisfactory” according to the press release, with minor rusting and loss of section in the webs. The caps and columns of the substructure have hairline cracks, patched areas that show signs of leaking, and hollow areas, resulting in a rating of poor.