The spectacularly glacial speed at which the Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge project is proceeding led alert “06880” reader David Dean to ask: What’s up — if anything — with another project, just a few hundred yards away?
In May of 2013, the Connecticut Department of Transportation held a public information session at Town Hall. The subject: the “skewed geometry” of the Main Street/Compo Road/Clinton Avenue intersection.
North Compo Road (shown at the bottom of this Google Earth View photo) and Clinton Avenue (top) are not aligned. That makes this intersection with Main Street one of the most difficult — and dangerous — in Westport.
DOT’s principal engineer outlined a plan — by then 10 years (!) in the making — to widen the east side of Main Street for 1,000 feet, widen North Compo to include a left turn lane, and realign through traffic to Clinton. The project would also replace culverts for Willow Brook.
DOT put the cost of the project at $2 million. Construction was expected to start in the spring of 2015, and be finished that fall.
Yeah, and I can walk to the planet Zork.
Construction is not yet finished, for a very good reason: It has not begun.
A Google Maps view of the same intersection. Main Street is on the right side of the photo, rising northeastward from the middle of the photo. Clinton Avenue starts at the top, and after crossing — with difficulty — Main Street, becomes North Compo Road.
Spurred by David’s request, I asked the selectman’s office for an update on the project. It took awhile for them to find out — they’re dealing with the DOT, after all — but this afternoon, Town Hall issued a press release.
DOT has “rescheduled” the project. It is now set to begin April 1, with completion set for fall 2016.
It was put on “hold” by DOT, pending approval for the culvert installation by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Detours resulting from the Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge project — which involve Weston Road — added to the decision to delay the project.
The good news: The job has finally been bid on.
The bad news: It will entail closing a section of Compo Road North for a month or so during the summer.
Which, in DOT-speak, means more than a month, at a time still to be determined.