July 1 Deadline Looms For Cribari Bridge Comments

Everyone has an opinion — or 3 — on what to do with the William Cribari (aka Bridge Street) Bridge.

But the only ones that matter right now are those that are submitted to the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The deadline is Friday, July 1.

Planning and Zoning Committee chair/state representative candidate Catherine Walsh writes:

Catherine Walsh

Catherine Walsh

At Thursday’s P&Z meeting, we received a formal presentation by the Westport Historic District Commission asking for our support of their study of the significance of the bridge. As we have done in the past, we elected to support their findings, and will be writing a letter of support.

We will also draft our own letter to the DOT which will highlight other areas of concern to the P&Z regarding traffic, water, etc.

July 1 is the deadline for written testimony to be submitted into the public record. Comments concerning historic preservation, traffic increase into Saugatuck, semi trucks using Greens Farms Road as an I-95 bypass and water are all important, and should be the focus of communications with DOT.

To comment, write:

Mark W Alexander
Transportation assistant planning director
Conn Department of Transportation Bureau of Policy and Planning
2800 Berlin Turnpike
Newington, CT 06131

Or email: Dot.environmentalplanning@ct.gov.

For more information, click here.

8 responses to “July 1 Deadline Looms For Cribari Bridge Comments

  1. Thanks Dan – and Cathy – for reminding folks. Please also know that if people send email comments to consider cc’ing info@preservewestport.com. We are compiling and documenting the letters and emails that have been sent in Lastly, if your readers want to stay up to date on what happens next to our bridge they might want to visit our website. http://WWW.preservewestport.com and sign up for notifications.

    We are a one stop shop for all things related to the Saugatuck Swing Bridge!

    Best John F. Suggs
    Westport Preservation Alliance

  2. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

    As this e-mail came in I was listening to the full meeting on June 15th. It is on line. Westport…. go to the link and LISTEN carefully. Your future is at stake. Make your feelings known. I will most likely post more after I have heard the full video recording.

  3. Elaine Marino

    A December 2015 Google Maps image (below) of Bridge Street on the Greens Farms side shows 25+ cars slowed to a crawl to get on the bridge. (Move your mouse to the left and right to see the line of cars.) Can you picture an 18-wheeler there?.


    I am writing to Mark Alexander of the CT DOT now.

    • Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

      Thank You Elaine. Check out these images everyone. Look at the closeness of the water to the roadway, the beautiful homes and stone walls and then think if what a wider, higher bridge with “corrected intersections” would mean. Then listen to the recorded video of the meeting and pay close attention to the report by Michelle Miller on how Eminent Domain works.

  4. We moved to Saugatuck from Norwalk four years ago and have watched the renewal of this little gem of a village. We love what Gault did with his business/apartment complex and look forward to the next big project which involves the entire block adjacent to the railroad station. The bridge needs to be replaced. A modern suspension bridge would probably be out of place, but there is no need to replicate the old tired thing that is here now. We need wider and a bit higher so flooding will not damage the structure and the mechanics for opening and closing it.

    • Morley Boyd

      John, the DOT informed us this week that the current, wider bridge concept you appear to favor involves the taking of your neighbors’ land.

      • Wendy Crowther

        Mr. Dodig, Morley is correct. Both bridge proposals offered by the DOT put a giant bullseye on a sizable chunk of the Parker Mansion property, or at the very least, their parking lot. I’ve spoken to both the restaurateur and the owner of the parcel – they are both very worried. Plus, widening the geometry of the bridge and its approaches will most likely require the taking of additional private property on Bridge Street through condemnation and eminent domain. Read the DOT report, or better yet, watch the tape. The DOT’s presentation about eminent domain and condemnation was especially chilling. In fact, the DOT’s eminent domain specialist was the emcee for their presentation.

  5. Chan Wheeler

    Dear Environmental Planning,

    My name is Robert Channing Wheeler, and I have lived in Westport for 20 years in the Saugatuck area. The Cribari Bridge is an abomination, and the demands of car traffic and progress require a totally new bridge spanning the Saugatuck River. I have seen the traffic backed up from South Compo all the way to the bridge, and in the other direction, from the Railroad station all the way to the bridge. The bridge is a choke point for the thousands of cars per day who traverse it.

    The bridge is too narrow, there need to be turn lanes where it meets downtown Saugatuck from Bridge Street. When a truck passes the bridge a car can barely fit in the opposite lane.

    As you know, the bridge was built in the administration of Grover Cleveland, BEFORE CARS WERE INVENTED. It makes no sense to preserve this antique, and all the sense in the world to design a span fit for purpose with the traffic patterns of the 21st Century, not the horse and buggies of the 19th Century.


    R. Channing Wheeler
    11 Surf Road
    Westport, CT 06880