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Preliminary work begins on Niantic River Bridge

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Construction crews have already started the three-year project to replace the Niantic River Bridge in Connecticut, but onlookers won't see the substantial work begin for a few more weeks, The Day reports. Workers have been at Cini Park near the entrance of the boardwalk since last week, staging heavy machinery and creating a ramp that will allow them to better move equipment up to the railroad tracks. Amtrak officials said the significant work will start in April when construction barges are brought out.

Amtrak is providing
diagrams of where the barges will be stationed and how they will be moved
during the different phases of work. The diagrams are available on the town’s
Web site at www.eltownhall.com

Representatives from Amtrak
met with town department heads in early March to discuss the logistics of the
project. Those in attendance said it was a productive meeting with Amtrak representatives
and the construction companies doing the work, Cianbro/Middlesex VII.

Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole
said the railroad company is holding its promise to remain in communication
with the community and town officials.

"We expect within
several weeks to have more outreach to the community. We will continue to
communicate all the milestones and important parts of the project," Cole

Town officials have already
closed the eastern portion of the Niantic Bay Overlook, from the wooden
boardwalk section to the bridge area. Those who want to use the boardwalk must
enter at the Hole in the Wall entrance.

The $104.7-million,
three-year contract is to construct a two-track bridge south of the present
alignment. It will involve expanding the navigation channel beneath the bridge,
realigning the east and west track approaches, relocating the boardwalk and
restoring the beach.

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