The ongoing intense, important and interesting discussion about the future of the William F. Cribari Bridge — including effects on spillover traffic from I-95, particularly with tractor-trailers and other large vehicles — got me thinking.
The highway — then called the Connecticut Turnpike — sliced through Saugatuck in the 1950s, devastating that tight-knit, largely Italian neighborhood. Homes and businesses were demolished. Families were uprooted. Entire roads disappeared.
But for the rest of Westport, “the thruway” was a godsend. Post Road traffic had become almost unbearable. Trucks rumbled through day and night. Route 1 was the main — and really the only — direct route between New York and Boston.
I know this only because I have heard stories from people who lived here then. When my parents moved to Westport, the Turnpike was open. It was fresh, modern and new — a symbol of postwar modernity, heralding a very promising future.
What I do not know — and what many “06880” readers would like to hear — is what the Post Road was really like, in the years before I-95.
How bad was it? Did it affect parking, businesses, homes? How did people cope?
If you lived in Westport in the pre-thruway days, let us know. Click “Comments” below. Tell us what you remember. If you’ve got photos, send them along.
And if you’ve got any advice for the town and state, as we grapple once again with the future of Saugatuck, we’d love to hear it.