STAMFORD, CT — The Cedar Heights Bridge replacement project is now expected to be complete by June 30, according to the latest update from City Engineer Lou Casolo.

Casolo appeared before the Board of Representatives Operations Committee on Monday to provide updates on several bridge projects around the city at the request of committee members and Reps. Don Mays (D-19) and Carl Weinberg (D-20)

Located on Cedar Heights Road and built in 1930, the bridge spans 24 feet and has no sidewalks or approach guide rail systems to protect traffic from the blunt ends of the parapets.

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The overall condition of the bridge was rated to be “serious” by Connecticut Department of Transportation inspection. The bridge is being replaced and will be capable of withstanding pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces from a 100-year flood, the city says on its website.

“This is an extremely complex project due to the utility relocations that are involved, but with all of that said, we continue to move the project along although it’s moving slowly,” Casolo said.

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Connecticut established a 244-day calendar for the project last April, with completion slated for Nov. 30.

“That date has long since passed. The contractor has not been able to complete the project at that time for multiple reasons,” Casolo added. The city website notes “substantial completion” by May 31.

An electric duct bank on the side of the bridge has to be relocated inside the new structure, and there’s a large bank of fiber optic equipment underneath the bridge that supports telecommunications in the area. The equipment needs to remain in place, Casolo said.

The estimate for replacing the bridge is nearly $2.8 million. Casolo said the project is under a federal local bridge program that’s administered by CT-DOT, which means 80 percent of the project is being funded federally, and 20 percent is coming from the city.

Casolo also explained that the Wire Mill Road Bridge project, which has a completion date of Nov. 30 of this year, is contingent on the Cedar Heights work. The bridge on Wire Mill Road was built in 1957, and is being completely funded by the state through the federal bridge program.

“The problem with this is this detour route is contingent on using Cedar Heights, which is currently closed,” Casolo said. “So the contractor who is working on Cedar Heights is impacting our ability to move this project forward. I’m currently working with the administration to resolve this issue. It’s very challenging.”

Representative Don Mays (D-19) asked Casolo if any penalties can be levied if contractors don’t meet their deadline for project completion.

“There is a provision in a contract for liquidated damages, and it’s a daily penalty if they don’t deliver the project on time. That is in most of our contracts,” Casolo explained.

However, if a contract extension can be justified, the liquidated damages don’t apply to the days given to a contractor for a project, Casolo said. “If it can’t be substantiated, then the liquidated damages are basically taken out of the invoices with the contractor.”

Casolo noted a contract extension is being sought for the Cedar Heights project.

More information on the Cedar Heights Bridge replacement project can be found here.

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