Saugatuck Bridge Replacement Begins

No, not that one. The Cribari Bridge (aka Bridge Street Bridge) project is still a long way from resolution, let alone beginning.

But over on Saugatuck Shores, the Saugatuck Island bridge is getting a much-needed replacement.

Neighborhood resident Gene Borio sends along a couple of photos.

The new bridge will look like the old one, he says. It will retain its arch — vital for boat owners.

(Photos/Gene Borio)

Power lines must come down while new pilings are put in. Meanwhile, Saugatuck Island residents will run off a giant generator.

The bridge is out until May (at least). Fortunately, there’s an alternate route onto the island: Canal Road.

Unless it’s flooded.

8 responses to “Saugatuck Bridge Replacement Begins

  1. I’m glad they are retaining the look. This is my most favorite bridge in Westport.

    • Unfortunately the scale, nature and character of the original bridge will be totally and completely destroyed. No wood allowed because of government regs. Think of something that wouldn’t look too out of place on I95 and you’ll have a sense of what is coming. It’s a shame and I’m not informed enough to know if anything could have been different. I suspect not as this is what happens when you take federal money.

      I do know one thing though: this is a teachable moment. We have to be very, very careful with the the other Saugatuck Bridge or we’ll end up in the same spot.

  2. Beth Berkowitz

    Wow. Big disruptment for the island residents, but definitely much needed. Are they making it wider for two cars to pass though? Glad they are retaining the Overall look though. Hope it finishes on time prior to major summer heat hits.

    Good luck!

    • Michael Calise

      It will remain as a single lane bridge and it will be slightly longer due to elevation changes but most importantly it be able to support emergency vehicles such as fire engines and EMS which the current one does not. It will no longer have the attractive wooden bridge construction but will be of metal and concrete.

  3. I understand the bridge is to be out till mid-July. The essentially one-lane Canal Rd will see a huge surge of traffic. Nice that people seem to be adhering to the 20m/hr speed limit.

    As Dan points out, Island residents unfamiliar with the road will need to pay close attention to their tide charts. Certain sections (and sometimes the whole road) flood regularly at high tide. Many people who forgot to check have had to sit for an hour or two at the corner of Harbor, waiting for the tide to subside. No fun late at night.

    Morley’s comment is pertinent, for sure. But would that be a Federal reg re: no wood? Or CT DEEP?

    • Morley Boyd

      That’s a good question, Gene. I can recall being briefed on the whole situation by the Town Engineer some time ago, but cannot remember whose regulation was driving the “no more wood” thing. In any event, it was plain enough that it was a non-negotiable type issue.

      I certainly understand and respect the life safety issues associated with the bridge’s replacement but feel badly for the residents of Saugatuck Shores. For a community that’s a magical place, it’s the seemingly little things like the wooden bridge (I can recall how it smelled and sounded) that add up to a big thing.

  4. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

    If the idea of “retaining the original look” is anything like what the state presented as a possible replacement for the Bridge Street Bridge, lets just say the pictures did not look like “our bridge”. Mr. Boyd is right. Stay alert.

  5. Peter Prigge

    Will the bridge be big enough and strong enough for fire trucks to cross?