Several New Milford Residents Say No to Reconstruction of One-Lane Bridge
Let me review to make sure I read the headline correctly. Some residents in the Town of New Milford DO NOT want a one-lane bridge built in the 1930s on Cherniske Road to be improved and reconstructed into a two-lane bridge.
Why are nearly three dozen New Milford residents upset about replacing this outdated ramshackle excuse for a bridge? After talking with New Milford Mayor Pete Bass, I got my answer.
By the way, the Cherniske Road bridge has been closed since January 15, 2021 due to safety reasons. Mayor Pete told me that most residents who oppose the bridge construction live on Cherniske Road. They say constructing a new two-lane bridge will make it more dangerous because cars will go faster if the bridge is repaired.
The second reason residents oppose the rebuilding of the bridge is New Milford's "Scenic Road Preservation" under General Statutes Section 7-149a, which reads, "The scenic and rural roads of New Milford are cherished and irreplaceable resources essential to the preservation of New Milford's rural heritage," not to mention the money issue.
Mike Zarba, New Milford's Director of Public Works, claims that converting the bridge from a one-lane to a two-lane bridge will make the bridge safer. How about the cost? The Mayor told me that a bridge double box culvert would cost approximately $600,000 while a single box culvert would make the bridge longer and wider and run $1.2 million.
According to Mayor Pete Bass, on Monday, March 28, New Milford's Town Council will meet with the Department of Public Works to hear about the current options of rebuilding the Cherniske Road bridge and how much it will cost. Enjoy the following YouTube video of drone footage of New Milford's larger bridges..