After months of construction, the Arrigoni Bridge between Portland and Middletown will reopen to all four lanes of traffic on Sept. 15, the state announced Thursday.
The announcement means the Route 66 bridge, referred to colloquially as the “Portland Bridge,” is opening a full two months ahead of the original schedule, according to press releases from Gov. Dannel Malloy, state Rep. Christie Carpino, and state Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker
“I am happy to report the earlier re-opening of Arrigoni Bridge for area commuters,” Carpino said in a news release. “This is great news and will alleviate the traffic back ups, especially during peak-hours. This is an example of how state and local government can work together and efficiently for the good of the community.”
Christopher Phelps, a challenger to Carpino in the 32nd House District, also issued a statement:
"The Arrigoni Bridge is vital to the economic wellbeing of our communities. While DOT and well as Portland and Middletown police have done a great job minimizing disruption during the project, it has still had a huge impact on our towns. I am extremely pleased to see all four lanes on track to reopen two months ahead of schedule."
Upcoming work to complete the final paving on the two main spans and the installation of pavement markings will occur from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Tuesday, September 4, weather permitting, and will be completed by September 15, at which time traffic will be restored to its original four lane configuration.
After Sept.15, off-peak lane closures will be required to complete work added to the project, which includes paving of the approach spans, replacement of the approach spans’ expansion joints, and sidewalk repairs to the south side of the bridge. The lane closures will only occur during off-peak traffic hours.
The sidewalk on the north side will reopen on Sept. 15 as well, although the sidewalk on the outh side will be closed until Oct. 31.
The Arrigoni Bridge was originally built between 1936 and 1938 and opened to traffic on August 6, 1938. Since the opening of the bridge, numerous repairs have been made including structural steel, approach concrete deck repairs, new barrier curb railings, electrical upgrades and abatement and painting of the steel girders and overhead truss structure.