Westport, Fairfield work to replace bridge over Sasco Brook

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield and Westport are working to replace a bridge over Sasco Brook on the town line.

Officials say there isn’t any danger to the public using the structure, but they are starting the preliminaries to replace it now because the project will take years to complete.

Projected cost is about $3.2 million, with the majority paid for with state and federal grants.

“The bridge is listed in poor condition,” said William Hurley, Fairfield’s engineering manager. “Since it may take several years to prepare, design and construct a bridge, the state and towns are being proactive in designing the bridge at this time.”

He said the goal is to reconstruct the bridge before the rating “ever gets downgraded to serious condition.”

Preliminary design work is already under way on the Old Road #2 bridge, or the Wakeman Lane bridge, as it’s also known.

Hurley said bridge projects usually take 18 to 30 months for the design phase, permits and reviews. This will include at least one public informational meeting and a wetland public hearing in each town, he said.

The utility work and the bid process for the contract will happen in 2023 with construction scheduled for 2024.

The construction itself takes eight to 16 months, depending on the final design and type of structure, which is still to be determined, he said.

Under a pilot program, the state is covering 100 percent of the bridge design. The federal government will reimburse 80 percent of the construction costs with Westport and Fairfield each covering 10 percent.

The Town of Westport is considered the lead agency.

“Local and state policy encourages early information to citizens on such projects and encourages people to raise any concerns with municipal officials early in the planning process,” Westport officials said in a news release.

Anyone wanting more information should contact Westport Town Engineer Keith Wilberg at 203-341-1128 or Hurley at 203-256-3015.

kkoerting@newstimes.com