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This bridge will have to be fixed due to structural failure.
please fix before both lanes have to be closed.
As promised I will be keeping this issue updated with info reagarding the closing of the State Street bridge. You can follow this issue to receive alerts by clicking the follow link above or to receive alerts in this neighborhood about this and other issues you can follow the neighborhood watch area by going to http://seeclickfix.com/watch_area/1
Here is the latest update:
Construction Schedule and Milestones
The official start of construction was May 15, 2009. Because of the deterioration of the bridge, it was determined during the design, that the bridge must be closed for the bulk of the construction. The current construction schedule calls for State Street to be closed to through traffic, between the intersections of East Street and James Street, starting on October 30, 2009 and re-opening on October 29, 2010. This closure and duration is subject to change based on the progress of the project. State Street will be open for local traffic between the intersection of East Street and the construction site. Please see the maps for the car and pedestrian detour, the separate truck detour and the businesses open and accessible during construction. Special signing will specify the detour routes.
This information comes from http://www.gm2inc.com/projects/state-street/index.php/construction-schedule-and-milestones/
You can see a photo of the schedule by clicking on the thumbnail to the left.
Thanks for posting, Ben.
I am hoping that world-class bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will be added on the new bridge, so that residents in Fair Haven can have easier access to the Upper State area.
Interested in what that might look like. We are probably late to be asking for design changes but still interested.
It may be too late to redesign the bridge, but if the infrastructure that the community has repeatedly called for has not been included, perhaps a simple retrofit can bring the bridge into compliance with city and state "complete streets" guidelines.
Building bridges that don't provide access to residents of all ages and abilities, in a city where far less than half the population drives to work every day, is not acceptable from a policy point of view.
We need infrastructure that connects neighborhoods, and if the new bridge and surrounding street ends up looking exactly like the existing one, it is just going to be another barrier separating one part of the city from another.
I sent the following letter to the project manager, Judd Everhart, on 9/9/2009:
Dear Mr. Everhart,
I have a couple of comments on the State Street Bridge construction project and website.
1) The website at
does not list a route for bicycle detours. Given the very large amount of bicycle traffic within all of the adjacent neighborhoods, I would recommend adding this term to help clarify. The source of confusion is the fact that while a bicycle is not an "automobile," it has full rights to the road which a pedestrian does not.
2) I would recommend constructing temporary pedestrian bypass routes as part of all of ConnDOT's future urban bridge repair projects, particularly those that close roads for an extended period (in this case, 12 months). Many bridge replacement projects within
densely-populated urban areas -- such as the recent replacement of the Hillhouse Avenue and Prospect Street bridges in New Haven -- provide for pedestrian circulation routes. The reason for this is simple: the
energy expended by a pedestrian to use a detour route is much greater than the energy expended by a driver. This also holds true for cyclists. For a pedestrian who needs to make a regular commute or trip between the two sides of the bridge, the situation that DOT has created through the closing of the bridge is a major inconvenience, health and safety issue, and likely to eliminate most pedestrian trips over the course of an entire year.
3) There is nothing on your website about the character of the new bridge -- in particular, whether it will be any different from the old one, which was improperly designed for such a densely populated and mixed-income city where more than 50% of residents do not drive to work every day. Design policies that promote reasonable urban traffic speeds (i.e., 95th percentile speeds of 25 miles per hour -- the painted buffer striping and pavement treatments on Broadway in New Haven are good examples of a similar high-traffic area and bus route with very narrow lanes that calm traffic) and attractive multi-modal access for all users (i.e., bicycle facilities and pedestrian bollards) is essential, and I hope that you have been considering them for all of your urban transportation projects.
Thank you again for working on this important project. Please let me know if you are able to modify your website to incorporate my first comment.
Judd replied on 9/9/2009:
I will have someone get back to you on your comments. Thanks.
I have not received any reply yet.
It would be idiotic to rebuild this bridge without modifyling the striping plan to include bike lanes. This is the very definition of a situation where both city and state complete streets policies require bike lanes. There is no way you can completely rebuild a principal arterial in a state with a complete streets policy and not add bike lanes. This is the very definition of complete streets.
Obviously, the physical design of the bridge cannot be easily redisigned. However, road striping specifications certainly can. CT DOT has a clear obligation to stipe bike lanes here when the new bridge opens, perhaps not a legal oligation, but certainly a political obligation. The people of Connecticut, their elected officials, and the state administration have all clearly expressed their expectation that bike lanes will be striped in situations such as this.
I agree, Brian. I might recommend doing the bike lanes with a brick-red colored asphalt, so that they permanently stand out.
This bridge is a key crossing point for the entire city, and a gateway to one of the city's most important retail districts.
Mark: Not that this is integral to the discussion, but the international consensus seems to be that green is to be used for any colored pavement or carpet painting for bike lanes while red is to be used for bus-only lanes. That said, I'm not sure if carpet paint would really be necessary here, as it is generally used in areas where they expect an exceptionally high risk of conflict between bikes and motor vehicles (i.e. intersections or chaotic downtown areas with lots of driveways and loading zones). I've also seen carpet painting used quite effectively to safely facilitate the movement of bikes through a busy transit center. I do not think that the political imperative embodied by the new complete streets policies demands carpet painting in this case, unless the bike lane being striped at any time crosses a motor vehicle lane or passes through an intersection with exceptionally high volumes of right turns.
Ben: This is the nature of complete streets. The point is to get low-hanging fruit. If the state pays for bike lanes on the bridge (which I believe they have a political imperative to do) then the City of New Haven can potentially use that investment to leverage additional (state) funds to stripe bicycle accommodations along the length of State Street. However, my understanding of complete streets in other places I have lived is that it does not provide for the use of specific project funds for improvements outside the project area. Most likely the project area (i.e. the length of road being rebuilt) basically just includes the bridge. In other words, funds already allocated to this specific project probably cannot be used for additional improvements along the length of State Street because this project, as funded, did not improve road improvements along the length of State Street (I assume). I think your best bet is to find investments that the city (or even URI or local businesses) are putting into Upper State Street and use that to help the city of New Haven make the local match for state or federal grants.
Lets open this as a second issue here so we can pass to other community members and not deter followers of this issue from getting their updates about the closure of the bridge.
The bridge was closed today but there is no sign at the off-ramp of exit 5 directing traffic towards State STreet.
Please Fix ASAP
10/18/10: Bridge to close for one year
An Article from New Haven Safe Streets:
Ah, Grasshopper, you are wise to want things.
"The official start of construction was May 15, 2009. Because of the deterioration of the bridge, it was determined during the design, that the bridge must be closed for the bulk of the construction. The current construction schedule calls for State Street to be closed to through traffic, between the intersections of East Street and James Street, the start date for the closure is October 18, 2010. It is anticipated that the bridge will be closed for one year. This closure and duration is subject to change based on the progress of the project. State Street will be open for local traffic between the intersection of East Street and the construction site. Please see the maps for the car and pedestrian detour, the separate truck detour and the businesses open and accessible during construction. Special signing will specify the detour routes."
I know of one business that is relocating due to the construction - I hope this information helps.
Should this be closed?
Although ConnDOT is still completely unresponsive on requests for improvements, it looks like the bridge will be reopened this fall or winter.
I have been in touch with @#$% Miller, the City engineer. In an email dated April 6, 2011, he wrote:
"The old bridge has been removed and they are in the process of driving sheets for the new Abutments. It has been a challenge since the some of the sheet piling for the cofferdam hit the old foundation of the I-91 bridge above. We are solving that problem now. In any event, the new bridge should be completed by Nov."
Hope this helps.
Alderman, Ward 9
Voting lets your government know.
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