Major progress has been made on the bridge construction, and completion by the end of October is still expected.
Late June and early July was mostly occupied with drilling and installing the dozens of long piles about 27 feet down to bedrock and 15 feet into that rock to support the abutments. There are about two dozen piles for each abutment, consisting of concentric heavy-wall tubes — a 7-inch tube inside an 11-inch tube, with a 2-inch rebar in the center, all held concentrically with spacers and filled with grout. The drill uses rotary bits, very much like those used for oil and gas wells. The piles were completed by July 10.
By July 14, concrete forms were being completed for the west abutment, and the concrete pour there was expected by the end of that week. The bottom of the concrete will envelope the top foot of the pile tubes and another foot of the central rebar with its bearing plate.
In response to a resident’s question, motivated by the fact that the former pedestrian bridge was separated from the former bridge, while the new bridge will include the sidewalk, this reporter asked the design engineer (from Cardinal Engineering, of Meriden, and often on site) how pedestrians will be protected. He answered that the sidewalk will be separated by a deep curb, which is considered satisfactory protection.