Turnout was low last week at Town Hall, as the Connecticut Department of Transportation unveiled plans for an I-95 bridge renovation plan that could have dramatic effects on Westport traffic.
The 2-year project — beginning in the spring of 2018, and including decking and girder replacement — would run from Norwalk’s Yankee Doodle Bridge (Exit 16) through the span high above the Saugatuck River.
It would entail lane closures (with the familiar miles of safety cones set out long before actual work), and possible rerouting of traffic along Saugatuck and Riverside Avenues, the Post Road and Sherwood Island Connector.
The specter of enormous tractor-trailers making that tight Riverside/Post Road turn is bad enough. With everyone nowadays using Waze, many drivers would instead try to use the Bridge Street/Greens Farms Road shortcut. If, that is, the Bridge Street Bridge were not being rehabilitated at the same time.
But wait! There’s more!
The DOT also hopes to resurface nearly 5 miles of the Merritt Parkway, from Newtown Turnpike to Congress Street in Fairfield. That project — planned to begin in the spring of 2017 — would also include bridge work. (Hopefully, the interminable North Avenue bridge renovation would finally be done by then.)
A public hearing is set for Wednesday (January 27, 7 p.m.) in the Town Hall auditorium.
No one denies that our 2 major highways need work.
But it’s clear too that the twin projects will have major impacts not only on those roadways, but many others throughout Westport.