Once upon a time, traffic moved easily on the Merritt Parkway Saugatuck River bridge. Below, a rope swung delighted youngsters at Camp Mahackeno.
Today, drivers creep — or race — over it. The span between Exits 41 and 42 is lined with construction barriers. It’s one of the scariest parts of the parkway.
Now there’s even more reason to fear it.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s has classified it as structurally deficient.
According to the New Haven Register, a bridge is structurally deficient “if the deck (riding surface), the superstructure (supports immediately beneath the driving surface) or the substructure (foundation and supporting posts and piers) are rated in a condition of 4 or less on a scale of 1-10.”
All told, 308 of Connecticut’s 4,270 bridges — 7.2 percent — were classified as structurally deficient. Nationwide, we’re 26th of the 50 states in the percentage of such bridges.
But if you think you can avoid the Merritt Parkway Saugatuck River bridge by taking I-95, think again.
The Yankee Doodle Bridge — the span over the Norwalk River, between Exits 15 and 16 — is ranked as the #1 most deficient in the entire state.
(Click here for the full New Haven Register story. Hat tip: Fred Cantor.)