Larry Weisman has followed the recent controversy over the William F. Cribari Bridge with interest.
The longtime Westporter reads “068880” comments too. One in particular drew his attention.
A preservation-minded reader referred to ‘’the statute’’ that controls the authority of the Connecticut Department of Transportation to prohibit truck traffic on a state highway.
Without quoting the statute, the commenter implied that it supports his argument for preservation as the only (or best) way to limit truck traffic on the bridge.
Weisman — an attorney — went to work. He found what he believes is the law: Section 14-298 of the Connecticut GeneraI Statutes.
Based on his reading — and in part on a successful campaign in Darien to ban trucks near I-95 — Weisman believes that the statute clearly allows the DOT to prohibit truck traffic under the same circumstances prevailing at the Cribari Bridge: “for the protection and safety of the public” whenever the route is “geographically located so that it could be utilized as a through truck route.”
Weisman found that among the physical characteristics to be assessed in determining whether the protection and safety of the public is at risk are: “road width and configuration, sight line restrictions, roadside character and development, number and character of intersecting streets and highways, traffic control devices, volume and character of traffic, and established speed limits.’’
I-95 is just out of this aerial view. According to Larry Weisman, Connecticut Department of Transportation regulations can prohibit through truck traffic on even a newly remodeled Cribari Bridge.
“Not only is there nothing here that would prevent prohibition of trucks on that portion of Route 136 which utilizes the bridge,” Weisman says, “but the bridge meets almost every criterion for such a prohibition and the statute effectively counters the argument that retaining our substandard bridge is the best (or only) way to address the issue.”
Click here for Connecticut DOT’s “Through Truck Prohibitions” page.