The Town of Putnam, Connecticut needed an access solution to a newly created technology park, the Quinebaug Regional Technology Park. The site posed several challenges as it was located adjacent to an interstate highway, required crossing the Quinebaug River, and was situated in an archaeologically-sensitive site.
Our team began by conducting extensive research to fully understand the site, including a review of the existing one-lane temporary access bridge. CME’s solution was to create a new, two-lane, 200-foot, single span steel plate girder bridge supported on integral abutments. The new bridge was constructed a distance south of the existing structure. This new access location offers significant advantages. It is situated directly across from an exit ramp from I-395, which improves traffic flow. It reduces environmental impacts by negating the demolition of the existing bridge and provides more favorable visibility of the park from its proximity to the interstate highway.
The Town of Putnam had selected a site for their new technology park and needed an access solution. The sizeable parcel was only accessible via a narrow single-lane temporary bridge that was constructed many years prior for access to a gravel operation. The Town needed a new bridge that would accommodate increased traffic volume and be wide enough to allow for all vehicles to easily and safely cross the Quinebaug River and access a planned Technology Park.
After reviewing the location of the existing bridge and noting the challenges of the area, CME proposed a new site for the bridge, which offered significant advantages. The new site offered direct access from Interstate 395, situated directly across from the point where the SB exit ramp intersected with Kennedy Drive and adjacent to an on-ramp. The topography of the site also provided additional clearance beneath the bridge and a shorter length to cross the river. This allowed for the structure to span over the floodway with virtually no permanent impact to sensitive habitats and water resources below. CME’s proposed innovative solution for an alternate site stood out from the other designer’s proposals and we were selected to prepare the design.
The new bridge is a two-lane, 200 foot single-span steel plate girder structure supported on integral abutments. This structure type will help reduce future maintenance by elimination of roadway joints. CME also employed weathering steel and NSBA detailing that produced a cost-effective bridge. In support of the bridge design, CME performed hydraulic, hydrologic, scour analysis and flow modeling of the Quinebaug River to ensure adequate under-clearance and guide design decisions for abutments and riverbank stability.
The new roadway, Technology Park Road, is approximately 1,800 feet long and was designed to accommodate all associated drainage and utility infrastructure sized for the future build out of the Technology Park.
CME provided a full range of services to bring the project from concept to design through construction. We led coordinated with the Town, CTDEEP and USACE for permitting, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) for ROW acquisition and design approval for the bridge and roadway. CME also provided land surveying, wetlands flagging, bidding assistance and construction inspection of the all aspects of the bridge and the roadway during construction. Additionally, CME worked with a local archaeologist to investigate possible previous Native American or colonial activity on the site to satisfy State and Federal permitting requirements.