Derby Shelton Bridge design

Project Background 

The Derby-Shelton Bridge carries Bridge Street (State Road 712) over the Housatonic River between Downtown Shelton and Downtown Derby. The bridge is a primary crossing of the Housatonic River within the Naugatuck Valley Region and is a critical element of the regional infrastructure. The bridge was built in 1918 and is historically significant. While the substructure is in good condition, many elements have deteriorated over time, including the pavement structure, parapet walls, and lighting.  

The intent of the project is to renovate and rehabilitate the elements along the top of the bridge and enhance the bridge’s aesthetics. Because it connects two downtowns, there is an opportunity to improve not only its function but also its form and create an aesthetically pleasing public space for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project limits extend from the intersection with Route 34 (Main Street) in Derby to the west end of the Derby-Shelton Bridge and includes the connections to Canal Street. 

The project is being designed by AECOM under contract to the NVCOG. Construction will be advertised and administrated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).   

Project Elements 

The proposed improvements to the bridge include adding a second through travel lane in the eastbound direction, installing of a two-cycle track for bicyclists, and creating a wider pedestrian plaza. In addition, existing deteriorated elements will be replaced and upgraded.   

The project will include: 

  • The replacement of bridge parapet walls. The proposed new parapet will be a concrete wall and mimic the style of the existing wall to adhere to its historic context. A decorative railing will be placed on top of the new parapet to increase its height to ensure pedestrian safety. The railing will be of the same style and pattern as the railing at Veterans Memorial Park in Shelton.  
  • Various roadway improvements including the addition of a second eastbound travel lane and the replacement of the bituminous pavement surface and the underlying concrete deck.  The shoulders, which are very wide today, will be narrowed to permit the additional travel. The intersection at Route 34 (Main Street) in Derby will be shifted slightly and the lane arrangement will be changed to permit a separate right turn lane. 
  • The creation of a larger pedestrian space on the south side and a bi-directional cycle-track to separate bicyclists from both vehicular traffic and pedestrians. Textured pavement and buffers with planters will help define these spaces. The cycle-track and pedestrian plaza will link with the Derby Greenway and Shelton’s RiverWalk. 
  • The removal of existing “Cobra-style” lighting. Period style, decorative lights will be installed along the bridge on top of the parapet walls. These lights will enhance the presence of the bridge at night and comply with dark sky guidelines. The new lighting will be designed to complement the new lights that will be installed as part of the Route 34 (Main Street) reconstruction project to create a consistent and cohesive environment. 

Status of Project

The final design has been completed and the project has been advertised for construction and awarded to Mohawk Northeast, Inc. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2021.  

The project plans were also updated to include the extension of the cycle track and pedestrian walkway down the southeast ramp to Canal Street. The ramp has been permanently closed to motor vehicles. Access to Bridge Street from Canal Street has been routed to the new roadway through the former Spongx property that now houses the Canal Street Lofts Building. 

The Design Team successfully worked with CTDOT to incorporate accent lighting to the bridge in order to illuminate the bridge at night.

Public Information Meeting

A meeting was held on February 26, 2020, to provide updated project details to residents, commuters, business owners, and other interested individuals. Click here for minutes from the February 26 meeting. 

Bridge Street Proposed Typical Sector Crosssection Drawing
Bridge Street Proposed Typical Sector Crosssection Drawing
Derby-Shelton Bridge Nighttime view from the south.
Proposed Bridge Street Intersection
Proposed Bridge Street Intersection

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