Martin gives updates on infrastructure and businesses
WINSTED — At the Monday, Dec. 15, Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Town Manager Dale Martin gave an update on various town infrastructure projects and the status of several businesses scheduled to open in town.
Martin said representatives of the town approved a Dunkin’ Donuts site at 760 West Main St. and are reviewing documents in preparation for construction bidding.
The business was approved earlier this year by the town departments and is scheduled to open at the former location of Gateway Auto Repair.
The repair shop was a used car lot and repair shop from 2000 to 2012 and has been vacant since the death of repair shop owner Robert Zablocki.
The store will be owned by Joe Naples, who owns and operates a Dunkin’ Donuts store at 3 Main St. and a store in Southbury.
Martin said he met in December with representatives from WMC Consulting Engineers of Newington to develop a traffic plan during a repair project for the Holabird Avenue bridge.
A project to permanently repair the long-troubled bridge was scheduled to start in 2015 but has been delayed to spring 2016.
Martin went over preliminary traffic plans for the area surrounding the bridge at the Dec. 15 meeting.
“Basically, Whiting Street will serve as a very long dead end street,” Martin said. “The north end of Whiting Street will function as a two-lane traffic dead end providing access to all residents and businesses on Whiting Street from Route 44.”
Martin said that the Fire Department’s station three, located on Holabird Avenue, will have access to all transit through barriers to go southbound onto Whiting Street.
He said access to Northwestern Connecticut Community College’s Arts and Science building, located on Holabird Avenue, will be gained through a property that is currently used for parking for the Whiting Mills building.
“It will be redeveloped on a short-term basis,” Martin said. “All traffic for the college will have to travel further east if you are coming from Gilbert Avenue or Colony drive from that direction.”
Martin spoke about potential repair efforts for two other bridges in town: Sucker Brook Road bridge and West Road bridge.
Back at a selectmen’s meeting in January 2013, former Department of Public Works Chairman James Rotondo said that both bridges are in serious condition.
According to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) bridge inspection manual, a bridge in serious condition is defined as a bridge with a “...loss of section, deterioration, spalling, or scour have seriously affected primary structural components. Local failures are possible. Fatigue cracks in steel or shear cracks in concrete may be present.”
For the Sucker Brook Road bridge, Martin said that, as part of a pilot program initiated by former Department of Public Works Chairman Neil Amwake, the town has turned over the design and management of the bridge to the DOT.
Martin said, in discussions with state officials, the state will begin their efforts starting in January.
As for the West Road bridge, Martin said the town included $95,000 in the fiscal 2014-2015 budget for design work for repair project.
“No design work has been initiated yet,” Martin said. “But representatives from WMC are familiar with the project. they have filed some paperwork in regards to a local bridge program with the state. [The selectmen] should consider if we should offer the design contract directly to WMC or actually solicit proposals for the project.”
Martin said it could be possible to complete the design phase for the bridge project during the last part 2015.
“If we include the bridge project in next year’s budget, we might be able to get that bridge at the same time we are rebuilding the Holabird Avenue bridge,” Martin said. “The town would be responsible for 50 percent of the construction costs. I have WMC working to give a rough estimate of how much bridge would cost.”
Martin said that the project should be something the board considers as the fiscal 2015-2016 budget it considered.