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Friday, November 01, 2013

Engineers Faced Challenges in North Avenue Bridge Redo

Westport’s newly opened North Avenue Bridge over the Aspetuck River was widened by six feet for two 12-foot travel lanes and a new four-foot wide sidewalk, the engineering firm involved in the work said today.

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A photo provided by the firm which designed the new North Avenue Bridge shows the new underside. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

In addition, a new water main and a fire hydrant were installed to service nearby residents, said Hamden-based Diversified Technology Consultants (DTC), which designed the new bridge.

The bridge, which closed in March, was partially opened on Saturday and fully reopened on Thursday, the firm said.

“One of the challenges engineers faced was determining how to repair the structurally deficient superstructure,” DTC said.

“The replacement superstructure needed to be something which could be constructed in the least amount of time to minimize the time the detour was required yet cost effective.”

The company said after performing hydrologic and hydraulic evaluations in the river, DTC engineers determined enhancements were needed to protect the structure from river scour and to create a viable fish habitat during periods of low flow.

A three-part process was devised to correct the problem, DTC said: the structurally deficient steel beam and concrete deck was replaced with precast concrete box beams and concrete deck.

Also, an articulated concrete revetment system was installed directly to the stream bed to prevent scour. The revetment was covered with natural channel soils to minimize impact on fish and other organisms.

Finally, a rock weir was installed in order to help reduce bank erosion and provide a tranquil pool for fish migration.

DTC said all the work was performed under the guidance of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Inland Fisheries Division.

The $980,000 project was contracted under the federal local bridge program and all construction was administered by the state Department of Transportation.

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Posted 11/01/13 at 07:17 PM  Permalink



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