Site Impacts

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Replacement of the State Street Bridge over the Mill River in New Haven was awarded to C.J. Fucci Inc. in April 2009. It involves complete removal of the existing abutments and pier and will be replaced by a single span bridge comprised of precast concrete beams. Full depth roadway reconstruction will be done to both approaches to the bridge which will have two ten foot lanes in each direction. The following is a brief summation of the events resulting in the prolonged duration of construction activities for this project.

The State Street Bridge Project began in May, 2009. Soon after work began, the project was impacted by an unexpected conflict with a 42” Water main that is property of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA). This water main is a primary facility for the City of New Haven’s water supply. Due to the close proximity of the water main to the work area, concern over damage to the pipe from excavations and vibrations, required the RWA to relocate the 42” main a clear and safe distance. This relocation commenced in June, 2010 and was completed September 2010.

Following the relocation of the water main, C.J. Fucci, the Department’s Contractor, was able to re-start construction activities. Fucci began with drainage installation on and around State Street, while maintaining alternating one way travel lanes on the bridge during working hours.

In order to demolish the structure and reconstruct the new Bridge, the original State Street Bridge was closed in October, 2010. All these construction activities were supposed to be completed within 365 days (1 year) of closing the bridge.

Once the bridge was closed, the Contractor began with the removal of the superstructure, abutments and pier. This was followed by the installation of temporary sheet piling in order to construct a “cofferdam”, to dewater the work area, so the reconstruction of the substructure can be performed in “dry” conditions.

The Contractor encountered conflicts in February, 2011 during the installation of the sheet piling cofferdam with the existing Piles supporting the footings for the I-91 bridge structure. This conflict caused a delay because the cofferdam was unable to be constructed as per Plan. A re-design of the cofferdam was completed by our Designer and operations commenced by March 2011.

The Contractor began excavation for the existing east substructure in June, 2011. Immediately upon starting the excavation, it was determined that existing groundwater was contaminated and required additional treatment not included in the original design. Operations were halted on the East substructure while a remedy was being designed. To minimize a delay to the contract as a whole, direction was given to the Contractor to relocate and commence operations on the West substructure in order keep operations moving. Once the Contractor began excavating on the West side, more contaminated soil and groundwater was encountered. This lead to a stoppage to all operations until a complete redesign of the Handling Contaminated Groundwater along with Bridge Piles and Footings was complete.

A complete re-design for both proposed abutments was provided to the Contractor in January 2012 utilizing steel H-Piles. Test pile operations were performed in the month of July 2012 with results sent to design. The contractor was given pile order lengths and production piles started being driven at the west abutment in January 2013. During the driving of piles at the west abutment in February 2013, settlement of some of the surrounding structures resulting from seismic vibrations caused by pile driving became evident. This prompted the temporary stoppage of pile operations until the settlement could be addressed. The settlement was a very serious issue due to the concerns for the I-91 Bridge adjacent to the site, which was one of the structures that settled. In addition a significant water line supplying the city had to be shut down and a bypassed utilized. Design provided new pile driving guidelines and restrictions, as well as, a ramped up monitoring program to closely monitor any additional settlement. Pile driving operations resumed at the proposed west abutment at the end of April 2013 and were completed June 2013. The reset of the work to build the west abutment has been continuing and is progressing as we speak.

As result of the settlement to some of the surrounding structures, design provided new plans and specification on June 18, 2013 for the use of Micro Piles, which are drilled in verses hammered in, in lieu of steel H-Piles at the proposed east abutment foundation. The contractor has submitted the plans and Working Drawings on November 13, 2013 for Micro Piles for review by design.

The contractor’s new revised Project Schedule has been submitted and is under review by the Department. It has preliminarily been forecasted by the Contractor that Micro Piles at the proposed east abutment could be completed in the summer of 2014 and that the bridge could be open to traffic in the spring of 2015 barring any further complications.

The above noted bridge foundation micro piles were successfully installed at the east abutment in August 2014. As of December 2014, both bridge abutment footings, stem walls, wing walls and back walls have been constructed. Work is proceeding for construction of the bridge’s new concrete bearing pads, which will then support the new concrete deck beams being installed in the near future. Construction activities are currently proceeding smoothly as of mid December 2014; Contractors latest schedule depicts a roadway opening of June 2015, work continuing on the project until August of 2015, with contractor demobilizing in September 2015.