State Street Bridge taking too long to complete - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State Street Bridge taking too long to complete

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

It was a project that was only supposed to take a year, but now three years later, the State Street Bridge repair project in New Haven is still going on.

The project is not only costing more money than expected, but hurting the bottom line of many businesses in the area.

Sales at Rani's Wine and Liquor have been hurt tremendously by the State Street Bridge repair project, according to owner Devangi Dhara. 

"If you see the numbers the past two years, this year is in black and white that we have gone down," Dhara said.

Dhara told Eyewitness News that sales are down 50 percent because those who used to drive by the store can't since the bridge is still closed.

"It's definitely not fun, but we have to pay our bills," Dhara said. "So we are just trying and hoping it opens up earlier so we can get all that business all back."

When the project started three years ago, it was only supposed to take one year and cost $5 million. 

The project is now slated to be completed in 2015 after 5 1/2 years and cost about $25 million.

Workers have run into some serious issues with the project including hitting a massive 42-inch water main. If the main broke, half the city wouldn't have water and would be underwater. Crews were forced to eventually move it.

Another problem was contaminated water, which cost about $12 million.  

The project was designed by Diversified Technology Consultants, which is an engineering team hired by the city of New Haven.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation said it's following those plans, but added there are a lot of issues with the project.

All said and done, the project is expected to cost five times more than originally projected. 

Eyewitness News contacted Diversified Technology Consultants to ask about the project design, but the station's calls were not returned. Eyewitness News also reached out to the city of New Haven, but our calls were not returned.

To fund the project, the city received state and federal dollars.

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