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New Haven's Chapel Street Bridge gets stuck, closed until further notice

The swing bridge over the Mill River was replaced in 1992.
Credit: FOX61
The Chapel Street Bridge in New Haven is closed until further notice due to a mechanical failure, according to city officials. Saturday, Aug. 28. 2021

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A bridge on one of New Haven's major traffic arteries will be closed for the rest of the weekend, and maybe longer. 

Mayor Justin Elicker's office said on Saturday that the Chapel Street Bridge, which carries vehicle and pedestrian traffic over the Mill River, is closed until further notice. The swing bridge is currently stuck in the open position. The cause of the malfunction is not known at this time.

The city's engineering department and a contractor are scheduled to inspect and diagnose the bridge. But officials say it will be closed for the remainder of the weekend – and possibly longer depending on the severity of the issue. 

The bridge is a key conduit to the Fair Haven neighborhood, a peninsula formed by the Mill and Quinnipiac Rivers. Travelers will have to detour to cross the Mill River via Grand Avenue, or the Quinnipiac River over Ferry Street. 

New Haven's Fire Chief said it shouldn't impact response times. “We’ve made the necessary adjustments to our deployment, including moving some assets to the other side of the river, in order to ensure response times are not negatively impacted,” said Chief John Alston.

The bridge, which was replaced in 1992, was rated in "fair" condition in a 2017 inspection, according to BridgeReports.com 

“We’re taking steps to ensure city services are not interrupted while the bridge remains off-line,” said Mayor Justin Elicker. “I’m confident in our city Engineering Department, and hopeful that we will be able to restore bridge operability as soon as is technically possible.”