GREENWICH, Conn. — With the quick cut of a red ribbon, a little over six months of detours in backcountry Greenwich came to a welcome end.
Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei and crews from the Department of Public Works braved the cold weather to celebrate the reopening of the West Old Mill Road Bridge with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon.
Just as the ceremony ended, crews removed the barriers that have sent cars around the bridge since July, when workers began the renovation project.
The $627,105 project was constructed and designed by two Connecticut-based companies. NJR Construction of Torrington constructed the bridge replacement. WMC Consulting Engineers Inc. of Newington provided the design for the project.
Town of Greenwich Senior Civil Engineer Frank Petise said no major speed bumps cropped up during the construction. “It went pretty well overall,” he said, noting that nothing out of the ordinary occurred during the project.
Crews sandblasted and painted the steel girders, repaired the bridge’s concrete deck and poured reinforced parapets — protective walls — for crash protection.
Because of its location on a curve of West Old Mill Road, drivers have struck the bridge on several occasions, according to the town. Before its reconstruction, the bridge lacked safety features to help reduce the impact of those crashes. It had a guardrail leading up to the span on only one approach, for example.
Tesei said work on the West Old Mill Road Bridge is part of ongoing efforts to improve the town's infrastructure.
“Greenwich has an ongoing capital improvement program and bridge maintenance is an integral part of it,” Tesei said shortly before the bridge opened. “This (bridge project) is in a long series of improvements to bridges that traverse the east and west arteries of the town.”
Tesei said the road infrastructure is “critically important” to residents and gives first responders the ability to expeditiously reach residents.
Built in 1937 and reconstructed around 1960, the 17-foot-long bridge carries two lanes of traffic over the east branch of the Byram River, which flows from Byram Lake in Westchester County, N.Y. through Port Chester Harbor and into Long Island Sound.
The Town of Greenwich Department of Public Works administered and inspected the bridge project, officials said.
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