Niantic Railroad Bridge, photo, BoatingLocal, Tom Richardson.

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association recently released a newsletter updating its members on Amtrak’s scheduled bridge repairs, which could affect boaters in certain rivers.

Here’s the latest:

The quarterly meeting of the Amtrak Movable Bridge Advisory group presented reviews of all 5 railbridges in Eastern Connecticut. Currently all 5 of the bridges seem to be in good repair and are operating normally.

  • The Old Lyme Drawbridge is slated for replacement, probably beginning in 2016, and it is expected to be a similar constructed bascule bridge with a new alignment slightly the south of the existing bridge. The new bridge may have at least 5′ of additional clearance when closed. There will be a closure from 11:00 p.m. Friday, January 18, until 7:00 a.m., January 19 for some cat wire replacement.
  • The new Niantic Bay bridge (NAN) is nearing completion and all river obstructions should be gone by mid-April. Amtrak may need a closure for track realignment, but a 30-day notice should be issued.
  • The Shaw Cove swing bridge in New London, vintage 1984, has had some recent electrical and mechanical repairs and is in good condition. A future replacement of the batter pilings is being considered.
  • The Thames River liftbridge now opens to 135′ to accommodate the USCG Barque Eagle, with a normal opening height of about 40′.
  • The Mystic River swing bridge will have some channel outage for mechanical work, but not until next winter (2014). The Mystic Highway bridge is in its winter closure for this, the last of the 3-year renovations.

Some bridge openings may have their times adjusted as a tie-replacement project works from Old Saybrook to New London from April 19 to the end of August as rail traffic is limited to one rail.

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