First it was the foundations of houses crumbling, now possibly the first sign that concrete in municipal bridges and other infrastructures are crumbling.
There's a reason why the bridge over Clark Brook on Jones Crossing is narrowed now to one lane—it’s crumbling, and will have to be replaced.
"This is not salt. This is too deep in. It’s coming from the inside out,” said John Elsesser, Coventry town manager.
Elsesser inspected the bridge on Monday, which was widened in the 1980s.
Now, samples of the concrete are being tested to see if the raw material came from the same local quarry that contained the mineral pyrite, which failed thousands of concrete foundations in area homes, like Tim Heim.
"The old part that was done in the 1930's is still sound. But where it was widened to allow traffic to go to nearby neighborhoods its failed,” Elsesser said.
The concrete problem surfaced just a few years ago, and now Gov. Dannel Malloy said more than 34,000, including one in Coventry, are affected.
Heim now heads up the Crumbling Foundation Organization. He checked out the bridge and doesn't like what he sees.
"This is very scary, when I take a look at this and a bridge is just crumbling apart, it's extremely alarming,” Heim said.
He added that it’s more than a bridge, “its septic, potential septic tanks, its storm drains, commercial infrastructure. The list just goes on and on and on."
"I don't think anyone knew there was a problem and obviously, this is middle 1980's and it’s just starting to fail now,” Elsesser said.
As for homeowners, they're still fighting the state and federal agencies as well as their insurance companies in hopes of finding a fix to their foundation problem.
In Coventry, town leaders meet Monday night to discuss among other things replacing the bridge, a $400,000 item not in the budget.
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