Motorists groaned in New Milford Aug. 26 and 27 as traffic was reduced to one, alternating lane over Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Fortunately, the venerable bridge apparently isn't yet close its own groaning stage.

Spanning the Housatonic River as the chief entry point to the downtown and points east and north in town, the bridge received its regular inspection on those days between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The inspection was conducted by Michael Baker Engineering, a company contracted by the state Department of Transportation.

DOT bridges are inspected at least every two years and rated on a scale of 0 to 9, with 9 being the best rating possible. At its last inspection in 2008, Veterans Memorial Bridge's superstructure received a rating of 6, substructure received a rating of 7 and the deck received a rating of 7.

"These are excellent ratings," Kevin Nursick, DOT spokesperson said Aug. 26. "These inspections are done regularly. There were not any major considerations that precipitated the inspection done on the Veterans Memorial Bridge this week."

Veterans Memorial Bridge is a steel through-truss bridge. Built in 1951, it allows routes 202 and 67 to cross the Housatonic. The bridge withstood the flood of 1955.

In 2000, the entire structure of the bridge was rehabilitated: the deck, superstructure and substructure of the bridge were reworked.

Adding to motorists' anxiety last week was the fact Grove Street has been under reconstruction to the Charles Marsh Bridge at Lover's Leap and is not anticipated to be completed until the end of next week.

Mr. Nursick said he appreciated the inconvenience the inspection may have been to motorists. However, he said, "be assured, the safety of the public is our number one concern."

-- Susan Tuz