Simpaug Bridge: Ribbon cutting set, DOT head to attend

A ribbon cutting for the Simpaug Turnpike bridge, which was expected to open this week, is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 8:30 a.m. James Redeker, state Department of Transportation commissioner, will attend the event.

According to the first selectman’s office, there will be a Meet the Commissioner event with light refreshments for residents from 8:45 to 9:30 now tentatively scheduled at the Station House. Check the town’s website at townofreddingct.org or call the first selectmen’s office at 203-938-2002 for details.

Work began on the bridge in October 2011. The bridge over the Metro-North railroad tracks was originally slated to be completed this past July, but there have been a number of setbacks, including those caused by last year’s Tropical Storm Irene and by Alfred, the October nor’easter, along with last month’s Superstorm Sandy. There were also some environmental and materials issues that had to be addressed.

The state is overseeing and paying for the bridge replacement project, which is estimated to cost almost $3.2 million.

The bridge is considered an “orphan bridge” by the state, since its ownership is either lost or unspecified. The state DOT takes ownership for safety reasons.

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