A federal grant will payfor the project.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- About 11 days late and over budget, the East Market Street bridge officially opened for traffic Friday.
Within moments of cutting a ribbon across the $1 million span, politicians were pushed to the side of the road by the rush of traffic.
The bridge across Mosquito Creek and under state Route 82 is on one of the most heavily traveled routes from Warren to Howland Corners, carrying 16,900 cars a day.
"We know we had some delays at the beginning, but we picked up at the end, and we really feel good about it," said Trumbull County Engineer John Latell.
Construction was scheduled to run from June 7 to Oct. 4. However, the start was delayed a week by high waters in Mosquito Creek.
The contractor, Trispan Corp. of New Middletown, was unable to catch up because of heavy rain later in the summer and the discovery that the old bridge's foundation was larger and deeper than expected, officials said.
The county has not yet been billed for overruns on the $753,000 contract with Trispan, said county bridge engineer John Picuri. The total cost, including engineering by CT Consultants, will be about $1 million, deputy county engineer Randy Smith said.
The project will be financed entirely by a federal grant.
What businesses say
"We've been waiting for the bridge to open," said Cathy Matash, an owner of Up A Creek, a bar and restaurant that opened on East Market Street only a few days after the bridge closed.
"When we first started looking at this location, one of the big draws was all of the traffic," she said.
The bridge closure initially put a dent in business at Pizza Works, said general manager Bill Siwicki. Then he doubled the restaurant's marketing and visited every business in the area to drum up customers.
"We got really aggressive, and we did well," he said. "Now we are hoping with the bridge open, we will do even better."
Nouveau Interiors actually had an increase in foot traffic when the bridge first closed, as a result of drivers' turning around in its parking lot, said owner John Gouvas.
The resumption of traffic over the bridge should reduce school bus delays that in some cases have resulted in children's arriving home 15 to 20 minutes late, said Howland school Superintendent John Rubesich.
Bus schedules will probably be adjusted in a few weeks, he said.