Connecticut River Bridge to Receive $30 Million

March 1, 2024
Work on the bridge won't start for another two years

Connecticut is preparing for a $30 million refurbishment of the Bissell Bridge, the link between Interstate 84 and Interstate 91 north of Hartford.

Work on the bridge won't start for another two years, but engineers are saying that the bridge will need lane closures with a potential for shutdowns during construction.

Plans for construction won't be known until engineers do final designs in 2025, but the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is saying some potentially major weekend detours could be required in 2026 or 2027.

“As this is a river crossing, detour routes are pretty lengthy,” Jen Pixley, an engineer with CHA Consulting, said in a statement at a public presentation last week. “It’s not definite this will happen.”

CTDOT and its consultants will complete traffic studies in 2025 to determine if construction can be phased in a way that allows no more than one or two lanes to be closed as a time.

“As part of the final design phase, we will do some traffic counts to determine the volumes we’re dealing with. We’ll understand if one lane of traffic is sufficient or if we have to do a detour,” said Meziane Meziani, supervising engineer with CTDOT.

CTDOT said that if complete shutdowns are necessary, motorists will have to go miles out of their way.

“The Bissell Bridge is the town of South Windsor’s connection to Windsor. While we expect there may be minor delays on the bridge due to the DOT reconstruction, we are hopeful there is nothing too significant,” Michael Maniscalco, South Windsor town manager said Wednesday. “That said, we will advise drivers to plan alternate route and to allot plenty of time if traveling in the area.”

The 65-year-old bridge last underwent major work in 1993, when the superstructure was replaced and traffic lanes were expanded to two in each direction along with the 8-foot-wide multi-use path. It was once envisioned as part of a beltway loop around Hartford, linking Farmington on the western end and Rocky Hill on the east.

Contractors will repair structural steel, replace worn bridge deck joints and make other improvements. The project is funded through 90% federal grants and 10% state money.



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