Tag Archives: Newtown Turnpike

Drivers Beware: Newtown Turnpike Bridge Work Begins Soon

In 2016, the state Department of Transportation warned of an urgent need to fix the Newtown Turnpike Merritt Parkway bridge.

Deterioration could lead to capstone and fascia falling hazards, an engineer said.

Three years later, those urgent repairs begin.

The Merritt Parkway Newtown Turnpike bridge. (Photo/Jonathan McClure)

Beginning “on or about June 24,” Newtown Turnpike will be closed between Wilton Road and Crawford Road.

Drivers coming from the south (Norwalk) will be detoured to Cranbury Road, Chestnut Hill Road and Wilton Road. They’ll connect back to Newtown Turnpike north of the Merritt.

Drivers coming from the north will do the reverse, getting back on Newtown Turnpike south of the parkway.

Work is expected to be completed by August 27.

It’s a pain, sure. But so is getting conked on the roof by falling debris.

And it’s better than Greenwich. A similar project there — work on the Lake Avenue Merritt Parkway bridge — will result in a detour of 8 1/2 miles.

Through October.

Friday Flashback #23

Alert “06880” reader Dana Pronti emailed this photo. It’s a 1930s view — looking east on Newtown Turnpike — at what is now the Country Store on Wilton Road. The photo was taken from where the Three Bears restaurant once stood.

wilton-road-lookingi-from-3-bears

Click on or hover over to enlarge.

That’s now the site of Chabad Lubavitch.

Here’s today’s view, from the same spot:

(Photo courtesy of Google Earth)

Has it changed much? You be the judge.

Another Bridge Needs Work

Bridges are all over the Westport news. There’s the uncertain fate of the Bridge Street bridge, and the uncertain date — because work has apparently stopped forever — for finishing the North Avenue Merritt Parkway bridge.

Now a 3rd bridge has grabbed the attention of at least one Westporter.

Alert “06880” reader Jonathan McClure wondered what’s up with the Merritt’s Newtown Turnpike bridge. It’s been encased in wood for a while. He searched the web, but found no explanation.

The Merritt Parkway Newtown Turnpike bridge. (Photo/Jonathan McClure)

The Merritt Parkway Newtown Turnpike bridge. (Photo/Jonathan McClure)

So he contacted the Merritt Parkway Conservancy. Executive director Jill Smyth replied that the state Department of Transportation had safety concerns about stones coming loose from the bridge. To protect drivers and preserve the exterior, DOT braced it with wood.

The Conservancy is working with DOT on repairs. Restoration of the bridge will begin in 2017.

2017!  You know — the same year that work resumes on the North Avenue bridge.

The same bridge, before being encased in wood.

The same bridge, before being encased in wood.