The long-planned project to replace the Post Road bridge over the Noroton River is scheduled to start construction this January, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced.
The bridge carries traffic on U.S. Route 1 (the Post Road in Darien and East Main Street in Stamford) over the river, which forms part of the Darien-Stamford border.
The project will also be long: It’s expected to be completed on May 1, 2021 — more than two years away, according to ConnDOT. But beware of time estimates, especially with long projects: Just last June, state transportation officials were saying work would start in November and last three full years — until November 2021.
At the time, Darienite reported:
It might well not last that long. A consultant who described the four-phase project said Phase II will only last a day or so, and the other three phases are expected to last between nine and 12 months apiece, which could mean the project might be done months earlier than three years. Unpredicted delays can also occur.
“Stage 1” of the construction will be the installation of a temporary bridge to the north of the present bridge. It will have two 12-foot-wide lanes and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk.
“It is proposed Brookside Drive will be closed to U.S. Route 1 during all stages of construction,” the ConnDOT announcement said. “Residents will be redirected to Anthony Lane and Hillside Avenue during this period.”
The announcement also said this about lane closures and the construction schedule in general:
- Traffic control personnel, signing patterns, and shifts of travel lanes will be utilized throughout the entire project in all stages to guide motorists through the work zone.
- Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions and seek alternate routes.
ConnDOT describes the other three stages this way:
—During Stage 2, one lane of traffic in each direction will be supported on the temporary bridge while the existing bridge is cut and prepared to provide a third lane of traffic.
—During Stage 3, two lanes of eastbound traffic will be supported on the temporary bridge, and one lane of westbound traffic will be supported along the construction zone of the existing bridge while the southern portion of the new bridge is constructed.
—During Stage 4, the westbound lane will shift to the newly constructed portion of the new bridge while the northern portion is built.
See also these previous reports (with different construction date estimates):
- Rt. 1 Noroton River Bridge Replacement Project to Last 3 Years, With Only 3 Traffic Lanes (June 18)
- Replacing Route 1 Bridge Over Noroton River May Close Entrance to Brookside Dr for a Year (March 16, 2016)
When the project is done, according to ConnDOT, the new bridge will be about 2.5 feet higher. The span will have two 11-foot-wide traffic lanes in each direction, along with an 11-foot left turn lane onto Weed Avenue (which runs along Holly Pond to Cove Park in Stamford).
The bridge will have two 5-foot-wide shoulders as well as sidewalks “of varying width” on each side of the roadway.
New England Infrastructure of Hudson, Massachusetts was awarded the $9,495,716 project on Oct. 31.
Images and pictures from a December 2014 public information meeting in Darien conducted by ConnDOT:
In 1912, the New York Times published an article on recreational summer trips by streetcar. The article recommended taking in the view at the Noroton River bridge: “Stand on the bridge over the Noroton at Stamford and take in the first of a series of beautiful pictures that everywhere meet the tourist’s gaze.”