Fairfield approves $3.7 million for bridge replacement

The Board of Selectman approved a $3.7 million appropriation for replacing the bridge on Duck Farm Road on Monday.

The Board of Selectman approved a $3.7 million appropriation for replacing the bridge on Duck Farm Road on Monday.

/ Josh LaBella / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — The Board of Selectmen approved a $3.7 million appropriation to replace the bridge on Duck Farm Road on Monday.

Officials said $2.9 million of the cost will be reimbursed with a grant from the state Department of Transportation.

Bill Hurley, the town’s engineer, said the road serves neighborhood schools and highways. He said it was constructed in 1959 and is currently listed as in poor condition. The town has been looking at the bridge for at least three years.

“We even had a consultant way back in the beginning evaluate if it made sense to repair it, and they said no it didn’t make any sense to repair it — it had to be replaced,” he said.

Hurley said the new bridge will have a 72 foot clear span, the same 30-foot wide roadway, and will include a pedestrian sidewalk. He said the final design, which took several years, has received final approval.

Hurley said the contract bid process is slated to start in December, as required by the DOT, later adding the bridge should have a 75-year service life.

“Based on the most recent project authorization letter, the bridge construction phase will be in the $3.7 million range,” he said. “It is 80 percent reimbursable through the federal local bridge program.”

Hurley said the town is hoping to complete the project in one construction season but, with the winter shutdown and supply chain issues, it could take 18 months. He said construction will hopefully start in April.

John Stafstrom, the town’s bond attorney, said the town will take out a 20-year bond in the amount not covered by the grant — approximately $750,000. He said the state grant should be readily available, but if needed the full-amount can be advanced from the general fund.

Hurley said the town would do its best to prepare drivers for the coming detours with signs.

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com