A Very Interesting Definition Of “Working Around The Clock”

The target date of August 17 for restoration of the Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge is near. It won’t be met.

So you’d think — particularly with penalties written into the contract — that crews would be working feverishly on the project.

Perhaps day and night.

In fact — according to James Lomuscio, writing last Friday for WestportNow — state Department of Transportation project engineer Shalal Hussein had said the week before that his crews were indeed “working around the clock.”

The weather this evening was beautiful. There was no heat, little humidity, and not a hint of rain.

There was also not a hint of any work being done on the bridge.

Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge

The alert — and concerned — “06880” reader who sent the photo above says, “This was taken at 7:30 p.m. tonight, on a clear evening. NO ONE is at the North Avenue Merritt bridge work site.”

She adds that according to a neighbor on Northside Lane, the crew shows up at 7 a.m. and leaves by 3 or 4 p.m.

“The lack of activity tonight was no aberration,” the neighbor says. “It is the norm.”

10 responses to “A Very Interesting Definition Of “Working Around The Clock”

  1. Tom Feeley Sr

    Surprised ? 😎

  2. John Hartwell


    I forwarded this story directly to Jim Redeker, CT DOT Commissioner, and Judd Everhart, his press person. Let’s see if they respond.

    John 203-216-1425

  3. Bart Shuldman

    So–the state is paying the workers more because they say it will take more time. The state will pay Westport for the needed police so we can turn North Av into a one way street to get students to school–and we wonder why the state is broke? We wonder why we watch as taxes rise as nonsense like this goes on around the state? All to support the state workers and contractors?

    Anyone surprised?

    Hopefully Jim Marpe lets the officialas know how pleased we are. Unbelievable.

  4. Nancy W Hunter

    If construction actually occurred “around the clock”, one would guess that the number of noise complaints would skyrocket.

  5. Sharon Paulsen

    Ha, good point Nancy!

    I know that when the Merritt Parkway “re-do” was occuring, they were definitely working at night, and it was LOUD. At least in the upper Trumbull area. I don’t live right near the parkway, but the machinery and pounding sounds sure did travel into the communities.

    I didn’t complain – glad it was getting done.

  6. Maybe this is what the DOT considers “working around the clock”.
    Someone should start anticipating what transportation arrangements will be necessary if the bridge is not available for one-way traffic when schools opens.

  7. Marcia Wright

    Maybe percentage of jobs completed on time should be factored into contractor selection.

  8. Jonathan Berg

    If they can’t work around the clock because of noise then they should have said so to begin with.

  9. Bart Shuldman

    Can we get an explanation:

    Even with one lane open for school traffic, the bridge will remain closed at night “to enable DOT crews to work on the final repairs more expeditiously, so the project does not get extended into the winter,” Loselle said.
    “Hopefully the bridge can be reopened for full service by the end of September,” he said.

    • Bart:

      We were told the Bridge repairs would be finished before the schools opened. Clearly, that will not happen. When the failure to finish the repairs in a timely manner become obvious, we were told by the DOT, the repairs would take longer than anticipated because the bridge had deteriorated further than was estimated. It is obvious, the original completion date was offered up by the DOT without full knowledge of relevant facts; they were ignorant. Recently the DOT told us one lane on the bridge would be opened when the schools open, and work would take place “around the clock.” There is some evidence work is not taking place around the clock (maybe it depends on the meaning of “around the clock”). Why should we expect any further pronouncements from the DOT to be accurate? Why should we expect one lane to be available when schools open? Why should we expect any estimate of when the work will be finished to be accurate? Who will be held accountable for these failures? No one is my guess.

      The students and parents whose lives will be disrupted by these DOT failures deserve both a fuller explanation of what is transpiring and an apology from The Commissioner and his boss.