Saugatuck Island (Conn.) to replace 87-year-old wooden bridge to mainland

Saugatuck Island, Connecticut, will soon have a new bridge connecting it to the mainland, the Westport News reports. The current one-lane, 87-year-old wooden bridge has weight restrictions that prevent emergency vehicles from accessing the island in times of need, which has been a concern of island residents for some time.

The bridge, which was originally built in 1929, has undergone several renovations over the years, but was decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Town Engineer Pete Ratkiewich told the news agency that the flood waters from the hurricane caused the bridge span to float off of its pilings.

According to the news agency, the Board of Finance voted unanimously in favor of a $2.6 million expenditure to replace the old wooden bridge with a new steel bridge with a concrete deck. It will still be a one-lane bridge, but will be able to handle the weight of emergency and construction vehicles. Half of the project will be paid for by a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, and the rest will be split equally between the town and the Saugatuck Island special taxing district that owns the bridge.