Arrigoni Work is Behind Schedule and Over Budget

But DOT officials say the delay and budget increases won't affect the completion date for the work.

The Arrigoni Bridge project is about two weeks behind schedule and its budget has increased by nearly $2 million since the project started this spring, but neither of those changes in the now $19 million repair project will delay it, state traffic officials told local business leaders and town officials this morning.

Kenneth E. Fargnoli, the state Department of Transportation engineer overseeing the project, said the $17 million budget has been increased by nearly $2 million to pay for unforeseen costs and changed work orders, including $800,000 for additional police patrols on and near the bridge in Middletown and Portland, as well as $600,000 to repair sidewalks leading up to the bridge and $500,000 to replace rotting handrails.

Fargnoli’s report came during a regular meeting Friday morning of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce committee monitoring the Arrigoni Bridge project.

And while the project is currently running 14-16 days behind schedule, Fargnoli said the delay is not expect to affect the anticipate completion date of next fall.

“We don’t believe, at this time, that it’s going to impact the overall timeframe of the project,” Fargnoli said.

The construction delay, he added, resulted from tie-ups in the manufacturing and delivery of the replacement steel decking for the bridge.

Local officials raised several concerns about the project during the meeting.

Middletown Police Chief Patrick McMahon said significant afternoon traffic backups are occurring on Washington Street from its intersection with Main Street to High Street. He and other city officials questioned whether the DOT could allow motorists to access the northbound lanes of nearby Route 9 from lower Washington Street, which would alleviate tie-ups at the intersection of Washington and Main streets that occur because many motorists need to travel up Main Street to get access to Route 9 north.

Fargnoli said the DOT would consider that request.

Others, including Mayor Sebastian Giuliani, questioned why the DOT has closed off the southbound lanes of Exit 14 from Route 9, which motorists use to get to Main Street. He and chamber president Larry McHugh said there appears to be a large pothole at the exit, but that while the DOT has erected barriers around it, the state agency is not fixing the hole.

“Tell those guys doing (Exit) 14 to get going,” McHugh said.

DOT officials said they would also look into that Route 9 issue.

Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield questioned how the DOT would handle inclement weather this winter and the impact it would have on the Arrigoni work.

Fargnoli said he would speak with the DOT’s maintenance department and inquire about their plans to keep the bridge free of ice and snow this winter.


pam September 30, 2011 at 03:39 PM
and let's not forget the winter is coming,,, that ought to just be the frosting on the cake.. I hope you have some things figured out by then,,, but i won't hold my breath.
Darrell Lucas October 01, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Wow Pam you're really upset with this whole thing. Is there a way for you to change some of your driving habits so you can avoid some of the traffic? I feel for ya on the waiting in traffic... it can be frustrating. But in one year it will be over.. also welcome to Patch.
Barbara October 01, 2011 at 11:17 AM
Is the steel decking being manufactured in China like the bridge in California?
Eric October 03, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Pam, I actually heard the cop tell the person in front of me( was coming up from under the bridge) that due to the niceness of people letting us in that Main st was getting too backed up. They are now under orders from the DOT to let 6 cars thru ,from under the bridge to every 90 cars from main street. Not the cops fault, blame the DOT. Also weren't we told that there would be a police presence 24/7????? How is that an "extra" cost now?????
Lynn Herlihy October 03, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Hate to say I told you so, but this is "Deja vu all over again" (Yogi Berra) only worse. These same problems happened the last 2 times they fixed the bridge. Now wait until the work is completed and the DOT find that they did not do something right, so they will dig up the work and "correct" it. Did someone say cost overruns?


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