Connecticut Department of Transportation—Avon Bridge Project

The Avon Bridge Project improved safety and mobility on Old Farms Road and Route 10 in Avon, beautified the landscape, and uncovered and preserved important historical artifacts for the future. The original bridge spanned the Farmington River at a significantly lower elevation than Route 10, resulting in road “dips” that made motorist sight lines less clear and the roadway less safe. Additionally, the lower elevation put the former bridge at risk for flooding. To combat those issues, the Connecticut Department of Transportation constructed a higher and wider bridge, realigned the intersection at Old Farms Road and Route 10, and reconstructed and widened Route 10 to include a dedicated left-turn lane. While they were at it, CTDOT developed a boat launch and landscaped a local public park for the community to enjoy. However, the site of the $14.7 million project was also located partially within the Brian D. Jones Archaeological Site. While Brian Jones, state archaeologist, discovered the area to be of significance in the 1980s and 1990s, he had only excavated the area by hand down to depth of three feet. This project allowed experts to confirm what Jones discovered by removing three feet of material – turning up about 15,000 artifacts and traces of human behavior from the Early Paleoindian period, which is more than 12,000 years ago.