Friday, September 25, 2015
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will conduct a traffic study as part of its rehabilitation study report of the Bridge Street Bridge, First Selectman Jim Marpe said today.
“The DOT has determined that the traffic analysis study is necessary to provide comprehensive and detailed information relative to the feasibility of potential bridge rehabilitation options,” he said in an announcement.
“As a result of the additional time required for the traffic study, the estimated date for the Public Information meeting is mid-April 2016.”
Marpe disclosed in an unusual Sunday announcement earlier this month that he had been in talks for at least two months with state officials about rehabilitation or replacement of the 1884-built bridge officially known as the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge. (See WestportNow Sept. 13, 2015
The bridge has “severely deficient” structural problems and is among the state’s most dangerous, Marpe said, quoting preliminary findings of the DOT.
In his announcement today, Marpe said while the timetable for the publication of the DOT bridge report will be extended, “I am pleased with these latest developments,” viewing the addition of the traffic study as “a very positive development.”
“From the start of this process, I have urged the DOT to fully consider not only improving the bridge structure itself, but also the ingress and egress of the bridge traffic on Saugatuck,” he said.
“We expect that improved traffic flow recommendations and considerations for pedestrian safety will be included in the final report.”
Marpe reiterated that he is “very sensitive to the historic aspects of this iconic bridge and its significance to many Westporters.”
He added: “I will continue to encourage the state to develop recommendations that balance long-term safety improvements with the need to preserve an important part of Westport’s history.”
Posted 09/25/15 at 04:32 PM Permalink
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The RTM P&Z Committee will be meeting this Wednesday at 7 or 7:30pm (TBA) in room 309 to discuss the Historic Districts Commission’s request to the RTM to form a study committee regarding historic designation for the bridge.
If you are interested in this subject and the basis for the discussion goes farther than just its historic significance, then by all means come.
Chair RTM P&Z Committee
The bridge is 131 years old, it is historic, it should be saved. The question is, does the town have the will to list it on the National Register of Historic Places and investigate the availability of Historic Federal and Historic State Tax Credits? Here is an interesting link; http://historicbridgefoundation.com