Bridge work closes road

Cross Road will be closed beginning March 31 for the purpose of replacing the culvert bridge across Town Line Brook.

An official notice of the closing went out to the residents on March 21, according to Town Administrator Chet Bowles.

Hansen Bridge, a construction company out of New London, was the low bidder to repair the bridge at $335,000, approximately $150,000 less than the next lowest bid, Bowles said in an interview Saturday. Construction documents will be submitted to the state, who will reimburse 80 percent of the project, or $268,000. The remaining 20 percent will be withdrawn from the town’s bridge reconstruction capital reserve fund. “The Select Board signed the contract with Hansen two weeks ago,” said Bowles.

The road is expected to be closed through the end of August. “We don’t need to worry about detours, because the road does not get a lot of traffic on a daily basis,” said Bowles. There are currently two houses on the road whose residents will be able to travel to and from their homes throughout the construction process.

“Sharon is saving money by closing the road completely. The shorter construction time means that the town pays less,” said Bowles.

The culvert bridge is located near the intersection of McCoy and Old Sharon road, and has been a subject of debate for years.

Originally built in the 1930s, the bridge was repaired initially during the 1950s. The culvert bridge was then placed on the state’s Red List of bridges to repair in 1999. In 2001, Sharon started a capital reserve fund and residents approved money for the fund annually.

In 2007, the bridge was washed out by serious flooding, the town temporarily repaired the bridge and it was taken off of the Red List, but remained on the state’s 10-year plan for replacement, keeping it eligible for 80 percent state funding.

While the road is closed, signs will be posted at both ends of the road as well as at the intersection of McCoy Road and Route 123.

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