Please support “06880” — thanks!
SUBSCRIBE TO '06880' BY EMAIL -- IT'S FREE!
Subscribe to ‘06880’ in a reader
SEARCH THE “06880” ARCHIVES
- Linda Sugarman on Friday Flashback #221
- Alice Lipson on Remembering Dan Sullivan
- David Schaffer on Roundup: Arts Funds, Big Buck, Turtle Update, More
- Robert Selverstone on Roundup: Arts Funds, Big Buck, Turtle Update, More
- Mark Yurkiw on Cathy Walsh’s Westport
- Friday Flashback #221
- Roundup: Arts Funds, Big Buck, Turtle Update, More
- Noya’s Windows Offer Joy And Hope
- Pic Of The Day #1326
- Roundup: Accelerating Universe, Mozy Blanket, Knicks Memoir, More
- RTM Upgrades Radio System, Seawall; Appoints Transit Director
- Cathy Walsh’s Westport
- Pic Of The Day #1325
- Unsung Heroes #168
- Roundup: Holiday House Decorating, Grandparents, More
Bored? Wander through ‘06880’
- Friday Flashback
- Local business
- Local politics
- Looking back
- Photo Challenge
- Pic of the Day
- Real estate
- Staples HS
- Street Spotlight
- Totally random
- Unsung Heroes
- Westport Country Playhouse
- Westport life
DISCLAIMERThis blog is personal opinion, and is not representative of the views of the Westport School District or Board of Education.
Tag Archives: Merritt Parkway Exit 42
Construction work on the Merritt Parkway — from before Exit 41 to beyond Exit 42 — has been going on, it seems since dinosaurs and Studebakers roamed the earth.
The $56 million project includes upgrades to pavement, guardrails and drainage, and restoration of “historic concrete.”
It’s bad enough for drivers (who must navigate frighteningly tight concrete barriers, including on- and off-ramps) and residents (who have endured noise, dust and the destruction of acres of woodlands).
But right now, work seems stalled. What’s happening? When will it resume? And how long will it take?
I asked Jonathan Steinberg, Westport’s state representative. He sits on the Transportation Committee, and lives not far from the endless mess.
A Department of Transportation representative told him that right now, there’s a restriction: Work cannot proceed after 11 p.m.
Because of that, the contractor — Manafort Brothers — has stopped work altogether. They say that with just a 3 1/2-hour night window, the project is not feasible. (Work cannot begin until 7:30 p.m., after rush hour.)
“It’s a tough spot,” the DOT rep wrote to Steinberg. “Everybody bought houses there due to the woodland setting and close proximity to a major travel way. The Parkway is over 75 years old and a project of the magnitude may come only once every 30 years. It’s safer if we cut the rock back for all of the travelers.”
However, the DOT official continued, “I agree that the noise we are making now is probably the worst, and this is only Southbound there is another opposite in the Northbound shoulder.”
DOT is “looking at various options that include reducing the amount of rock removed and beefing up the guide rail. Compensating the Contractor for his lost production. Utilizing day time lane closures. Allowing full shift work but on limited nights.”
However, he concluded — ominously for all — “as of today we do not have a solution.”
Despite the traffic, construction and removal of trees, the Merritt Parkway is still more pleasant than 95. (Then again, so is colonoscopy prep.)
Back in 1939 — a couple of years after it opened — the Merritt really was a “parkway,” though.
So were the entrances. Here’s a shot of Exit 42 southbound, on Weston Road. The commuter parking lot was decades in the future.
I have no idea when the calming island was removed.
The Weston Road/Easton Road/Main Street rotary — the first real bit of Westport people see as they get off Merritt Parkway exit 42 — has been spruced up nicely.
Thanks, Tony Palmer, Dan and Maureen Aron, and an anonymous helper!
But — as an alert “06880” reader points out — the view a few yards south is not exactly welcoming.
The reader asks:
Do you know when when the Daybreak Nursery lot will be improved? The buildings are falling down, the weeds are overgrown, there is garbage in the driveway. It’s been this way for almost 2 years. What an eyesore. Do the owners have to at least maintain it in any way?
Meanwhile, drivers who get past that sight — and want a pumpkin latte at Starbucks, quinoa salad at Freshii or a new outfit at one of our 27,284 Main Street women’s clothing stores — are grossed out by this view of the Parker Harding dumpster:
That’s been an eyesore a lot longer than the Daybreak property.
It’s time — the “06880” reader says — for Westport to clean up its act.
Who wants to take charge?