NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — A $158.2 million federal grant will speed up rehabilitation work on the northbound span of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, according to an announcement Thursday.

“Infrastructure investments like this increase the safety, longevity, and efficiency of one of our state’s most important bridges,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said in the written announcement. “Thanks to the federal government’s commitment, this critical major project will be accelerated and completed faster. We thank the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, Congressman Courtney, and Governor Lamont for their steadfast support of vital bridge and infrastructure investments.”

The bridge has been in the first stage of its $407.7 million rehabilitation project since 2020. About 60,000 vehicles drive over the five-lane bridge each day.

The structure is currently load-restricted, which prevents oversize and overweight vehicles from using its northbound side, and causes a 17-mile detour.

The rehabilitation project will include safety improvements and expand a multi-use path across the Thames River.

Work on the southbound side of the bridge was finished in 2018.