Another Bridge Needs Work

Bridges are all over the Westport news. There’s the uncertain fate of the Bridge Street bridge, and the uncertain date — because work has apparently stopped forever — for finishing the North Avenue Merritt Parkway bridge.

Now a 3rd bridge has grabbed the attention of at least one Westporter.

Alert “06880” reader Jonathan McClure wondered what’s up with the Merritt’s Newtown Turnpike bridge. It’s been encased in wood for a while. He searched the web, but found no explanation.

The Merritt Parkway Newtown Turnpike bridge. (Photo/Jonathan McClure)

The Merritt Parkway Newtown Turnpike bridge. (Photo/Jonathan McClure)

So he contacted the Merritt Parkway Conservancy. Executive director Jill Smyth replied that the state Department of Transportation had safety concerns about stones coming loose from the bridge. To protect drivers and preserve the exterior, DOT braced it with wood.

The Conservancy is working with DOT on repairs. Restoration of the bridge will begin in 2017.

2017!  You know — the same year that work resumes on the North Avenue bridge.

The same bridge, before being encased in wood.

The same bridge, before being encased in wood.

14 responses to “Another Bridge Needs Work

  1. Dan:
    Please tell me that you are joking about 2017. I live on North Avenue, near Easton Road and when work began on the bridge back in June, we were all unhappy about the inconvenience and extra time it took to take detours. Once the traffic lights were placed on North Avenue allowing passage over the bridge, everyone stopped complaining. I have spoken to several town officials and I am told that this is a CT DOT issue and the matter is out of the hands of local government. Clearly the North Avenue bridge is not a priority of the state.

  2. the wood gives the bridge that special CT DOT look !

  3. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    The road looks smooth, no potholes to be seen.
    If only beautiful stone bridges were never built.

  4. All of the bridges on the Merrit and prob the Wilbur Chase were designed by engineeringing students back in the 40’s? 50’s? but yes.

    • In the context that you are using the name it’s the Wilbur (not Wilbor) Cross Parkway comprising the portion of Route 15 between Milford and Meriden. There also is the Wilbur Cross Highway (not Parkway) which is the designation for the portion of old Route 15 that runs from Wethersfield through Hartford and Manchester to the Massachusetts Turnpike in Sturbridge, Mass. Both were named after Wilbur Lucius Cross, governor of Connecticut from 1931 through 1939.

      • And long before he was governor (and, before that, a professor of English at Yale, and dean of its first graduate school), Wilbur Cross was the 2nd principal of Staples High School! He served one year (1885), and was just 23 years old.

  5. Wilbur not Wilbor Cross (Google)

  6. 2017…… outrageous! You knew that someone would check up on this.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  7. Dan; I think your estimate for the timing of the resumption of work on the North Avenue bridge is optimistic .