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Monday, March 29, 2004

Temporary Bridge Readied for I-95

Workers today prepared to swing a temporary bridge into place on the southbound side of I-95 and officials said the section of highway closed after a fiery accident Thursday night could fully reopen in a few days.

Earlier experts had said the highway would be closed for two weeks or more. The northbound lanes reopened shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday.

“Who would have thought that in just a few days we’d have the northbound section open?” Gov. John G. Rowland said today at a news conference at the site.

“We will probably have just a few more days and then we will be back on track.”

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Sen. Christopher Dodd, Rep. Christopher Shays, Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi, and Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell were among those on hand for the news conference.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that another $2 million in emergency aid had been approved for the project. This in addition to the $11.2 million in bridge repair funds made available Friday.

Connecticut will be leasing the temporary overpass from a New Jersey contractor, but the price of the bridge was still being negotiated, said DOT spokesman Chris Cooper.

Overall, Metro-North ridership this morning was up about 30 percent, or about 4,000 passengers, about 1,200 of whom were headed to Grand Central Terminal.

The rest were intrastate passengers to the Stamford or Greenwich stations, an increase of more than 75 percent from a typical Monday, said railroad spokesman Dan Brucker.

Some riders could not get seats, but Metro-North did not need help from Amtrak and did not have to make additional stops to accommodate the extra riders, Brucker said.

The state Department of Transportation reported that traffic on the Merritt Parkway was heavier than normal, heading into Fairfield County and New York.

A 14-mile backup was reported along sections of the parkway this morning, while backups of 8 miles to 10 miles are the norm.

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Posted 03/29/04 at 04:22 PM  Permalink



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