Brookside Drive a small, private road that intersects with the Post Road at the Darien-Stamford border, would have its direct access to Route 1 blocked by a state project to replace the nearby bridge over the Noroton River, a police official said.
The state Department of Transportation has long planned to replace the Noroton River bridge between Stamford and Darien, and held a public information hearing on their plans in June 2014. At that time, the department said work was expected to begin in early 2017 and could take as long as 24 months to complete.
Capt. Donald Anderson, a Darien Police Department official whose duties include traffic regulations, said the plan currently is for Brookside Drive (not to be confused with Brookside Road on the other side of town) to have its access to the Post Road (Route 1) closed for perhaps as long as a year. Anderson spoke Wednesday at a Darien Police Commission meeting.
Construction vehicles would access the site at least partly from Brookside Drive, which leads to a state Department of Transportation maintenance yard near the Darien South rest stop on Interstate 95.
Brookside Drive residents would use Anthony Lane and Hillside Avenue to enter and leave their neighborhood. School bus routes would be adjusted if necessary, Anderson said.
The bridge is in “significant disrepair,” Anderson said, and needs replacing. “That bridge is way beyond its useful life.”
Work on replacing the span will proceed in sections, and Route 1 won’t be entirely closed in either direction, he said.
“It’s going to be one lane out of Darien, at least days during construction, and two lanes coming into Darien,” he said.
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, Public Works Director Ed Gentile and Anderson met last week with Department of Transportation officials, Anderson said.
The town officials asked for another public hearing to inform residents of any changes in the DOT plans since the last public hearing in June 2014. A hearing “is coming,” he said.
The Darien town government website has posted several documents from earlier plans (which may have been changed) for the bridge. Here they are (the links point to PDF documents):
- Noroton River Bridge Public Information Meeting 06/24/14
- Noroton River DOT Bridge Replacement Public Meeting Information 12/04/14
- Noroton River DOT Bridge Replacement Project Description 12/04/14
- Noroton River DOT Bridge Replacement Plans 120414
The existing 50-foot-long bridge (70 feet wide) was first built in 1913 and rehabilitated in 1956. In 2013, estimated average daily traffic on the bridge was about 10,600 vehicles, according to the state Department of Transportation.
According to the previously released plans for the new bridge, it would be 2.5 feet higher than the present one, allowing more water from the Noroton River to pass under it during floods.