Extreme heat has expanded Mystic lift bridge - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Extreme heat has expanded Mystic lift bridge; making it unable to close

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MYSTIC, CT (WFSB) -

The recent heat wave caused the newly renovated lift bridge in Mystic to expand, which is a problem for local businesses and tourists.

According to the Department of Transportation, the heat has caused the metal in the bridge to expand 2 inches. Even though the bridge is designed for the expansion, some sensors underneath are not, which cause the sensors to fail and the bridge to not close properly.

The bridge opens every 40 minutes to allow sailboats to pass through. The sensors then send a signal to the bridge operator, which lets them know to close the bridge for cars and pedestrians.

When the bridge cannot close, the pedestrians and cars are stuck for minutes or hours until the problem is fixed. In some cases, the only way to get around is to go back on Interstate 95, and get off on Allen Street.

Local business owners dealt with this problem, during the past three winters. The construction project cost $15 million, so business owners said they hope the problem can be fixed soon.

"I haven't heard of the expansion of metals and stuff," said Brian Thomson, who is a local shop owner. "I know Ciambro last week was done. I've noticed them back here the past couple of days."

DOT officials said the contractor, Ciambro, is finalizing their punch list of repairs, which includes replacing some of the limit switches that have failed during the heat wave.

The East Haddam Ferry is also closed due to mechanical problems, so travelers are advised to seek alternate transportation.

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