Two p 1 7-15-21

Bridge Repair
Forms are in place along the wings of the bridge that crosses the Five Mile River on Five Mile River Road. Concrete will be poured and that will stabilize the wings of the bridge. Linda Lemmon photos.

By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — Two East Putnam bridges are currently being repaired and water permitting — the rains and the rivers — should be finished in another six weeks.
Highway Superintendent Travis Sirrine said the bridge on East Putnam Road crossing Cady Brook and the bridge on Five Mile River Road crossing the Five Mile River are two weeks into repairs. Most of the work is being done by Arborio Corp. of Cromwell. The work is being checked by the town’s engineering firm and when it’s finished, the state will come out and inspect it and upgrade the bridges’ ratings.
Mayor Barney Seney said the repairs are being funded by a half-million dollar grant.
The East Putnam Road bridge, Sirrine said, is probably about 30 years old and is experiencing “scouring,” and “spalling”. Scouring is erosion of the banks, the edges. Rip rap – large crushed rock, is installed to allow the flow of water while reducing erosion.
Spalling is cracks in concrete which allows oxygen and water in, causing the rebar to rust, weakening it. It is sealed with special underwater grout and concrete. “You have to get the oxygen and water away from the rebar,” he said.
In addition, some work is being done on the underside of the East Putnam Road bridge. Sirrine said the bearings — plates which allow for expansion and contraction in the bridge — and the ends of the steel beams are rusting. The bearings can be replaced and the ends of the beams can be removed and new beam ends welded on. “Then it’s sealed up and you’re off and running,” he said.
The Five Mile River Road bridge is somewhat older than the East Putnam Road/Cady Brook bridge and it also has some spalling and scouring to be fixed. New concrete wing walls will be poured and attached (by drilling) into the old wing walls, thereby creating a thicker and stronger wing wall.
Sirrine said the two projects were slated to be finished in six weeks total. Crews have been working on them for two weeks but because of the delays/challenges with the weather, he said he thought it looks like “six weeks give or take” from now for them to be finished.
More bridge projects are on the horizon. Seney said the town is looking for grants to repair the East Putnam Road bridge crossing Mary Brown Brook and the bridge on Danco Road. He had said that the Danco Road is truly in need as it was inspected this year and the weight limit had to be reduced to 5 tons. Currently large trucks cannot cross, he said, so deliveries are offloaded with fork lifts and taken to Danco Road businesses.
Bridge work has been on the back burner for a while. Sirrine said the town is looking to create a solid schedule for repairs and regular maintenance.


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