MIDDLETOWN, Conn (WTNH) -- The Connecticut Department of Transportation says construction on the Arrigoni Bridge is ahead of schedule.
For everybody tired of rush hour tie-ups crossing the Connecticut River, the good news is you'll be back to driving in two lanes on the Arrigoni Bridge in just two weeks.
"Weather permitting, the bridge is going to be open full width on September 15th, nearly two months ahead of schedule," said Ken Fargnoli, from the DOT, to the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.
Work began on the 74-year-old span late last year, taking it from two lanes in each direction down to one and sometimes just one lane total with alternating traffic. The result, traffic jams.
"From here to here it took like five minutes and it's not even half a mile down the road," said Monia Nichols.
The reason the Chamber of Commerce is so interested in the bridge progress is that, during rush hour, no one wants to risk losing their spot in the line of cars to come into any of the businesses along the road.
"Like they won't stop at the Dunkin Donuts, they don't want to stop and get coffee because you don't want to get in and out of that traffic and fight it," said Joann Rossitto. "It's a nightmare."
Rossitto is one of the very few customers at a nearby Hess station during this rush hour. She works at a nearby restaurant she says is also hurting.
"It's not too bad coming over to Portland but leaving it," she said. "I think a lot of people are back from vacation and all that, so it's been really heavy the past week."
But it will all change in two weeks. They will keep doing work in the less busy direction and at less busy hours of the day until Halloween, then it's all done.
However, how did a project plagued with problems at the beginning end up ahead of schedule?
"Well, you have to give a lot of credit to the contractor," Fargnoli said. "Middlesex Corporation really banged this out, with my constant urgence."
The DOT says it's not only ahead of schedule, but more than a million dollars under budget.
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