Tag Archives: Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge

North Avenue Bridge To Open Monday!

Sources say that on Monday, the Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge will open again to 2-way traffic. It’s been closed completely for the past 2 months.

The bridge reopens a mere 14 months after Connecticut Department of Transportation work began. It’s just 12 months behind schedule.

A few cosmetic details remain. But the project is essentially completed.

Just in time for the new closure, a few hundred yards away on North Compo.

These lights -- unused for the past couple of months, because North Avenue was closed at the Merritt Parkway -- will soon be removed.

These lights — unused for the past couple of months, because North Avenue was closed at the Merritt Parkway — will soon be removed.

Traffic Grows; So Do Woes

Summertime usually means a decrease in Westport traffic.

Not this year.

Westporters have noticed a dramatic increase on the Post Road. The Compo Road light seems particularly bad, especially coming from downtown and on South Compo Road, from the beach. Others spots on US1 are also heavier than usual, this time of year.

But it’s also an issue on usually free-flowing side streets. An “06880” reader writes:

My child attends camp at Coleytown Elementary School. Given the current North Avenue bridge closure, this is a problem.

Remembering the traffic situation from last summer, when the bridge was also out, I leave my house (off South Compo) 15 minutes before the start of camp. However, the construction at North Compo and Main Street makes this worse this year.

At 8:50 a.m., the intersection of Cross Highway and Weston Road is completely blocked up with Merritt Parkway traffic. It’s nearly impossible to make the left turn onto Weston Road.

It takes another 10 minutes to get to the stop sign on Easton Road, a few yards away.

Returning home, it’s hard to use Easton Road because the traffic is backed up a good half-mile, so I go the other direction to Bayberry lane.

4:15 pm yesterday: Southbound on Easton Road, heading to the Weston Road/Merritt Parkway bottleneck. During morning rush hour, the scene is much worse.

4:15 pm yesterday: Southbound on Easton Road, heading to the Weston Road/Merritt Parkway bottleneck. During morning rush hour, the scene is much worse.

There should be a traffic cop at the Weston/Easton/Merritt intersection to ease traffic. I’ve seen cops on both Bayberry Lane and Easton Road with radar guns to catch speeders, instead of helping out at congested intersections.

Today (Tuesday) was the worst it’s been in a while. Post Road, Greens Farms Road and even my own side street were at a standstill.

It’s not just me complaining. Everyone I have spoken with who carpools kids to camp is at their wit’s end with the traffic situation.

I hope you understand that this is not just one Westport mom complaining. I’m trying to bring attention to a larger problem.

BREAKING NEWS: North Avenue Bridge Closed — Again — Through August

For the 2nd year in a row, North Avenue will be closed between Cross Highway and Easton Road. The closure — announced today by the state Department of Transportation — is due to work on the Merritt Parkway bridge.

The closure begins next Monday — June 20 — and will be in effect for 2 months. The DOT says the bridge is “expected” to reopen by August 25.

Yes, this is the same project that was supposed to be finished in time for the opening of school — in 2015.

Then the target date was pushed back 10 months, to June 30, 2016.

They missed that deadline too. By at least an entire summer.

Temporary traffic lights will be useless, starting Monday. North Avenue will once again be closed.

Temporary traffic lights will be useless, starting Monday. North Avenue will once again be closed.

Final completion is set for September 15.

And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

If you’re interested, here is the full press release from DOT:

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing the full closure of the North Avenue Bridge (over Route 15) beginning on June 20, 2016.  The closure is necessary to facilitate ongoing construction activities.  The bridge is expected to reopen by August 25, 2016.

The project consists of the full rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure, including removal of the western spandrel, concrete patch repair of the underside and surface of the bridge and full deck replacement. The purpose of the project is to improve the structural deficiencies and preserve the integrity of the bridge.

Due to numerous crashes caused by illegal oversized vehicles last year, the integrity of the temporary support system was compromised. The temporary support system was removed and a different system with greater clearance will be utilized..

CTDOT Project No. 0158-0208 was awarded to Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman, Inc. of Branford, CT on March 12, 2015, at a cost of $2,854,817.14 and is scheduled to be completed by September 15, 2016.

The "Construction Ahead" sign should actually have read "Construction Site Ahead." There has been virtually no work done on the bridge for months.

The “Construction Ahead” sign should actually have read “Construction Site Ahead.” There has been virtually no work done on the bridge for months.

 

Late Harvest

Last April, Mario’s closed. In June, “0688o” reported that Harvest — the restaurant taking its place, with “custom cuisine from farm to fork” — would open in September.

Here was the scene Friday:

Harvest restaurant

Workers said it will open by the end of the month.

That’s a bit later than promised.

But loooong before the completion of the Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge.