Saugatuck Avenue Bridge replacement project reaches critical phase

The new bridge was slid into place using hydraulics while the old bridge was demolished overnight.

Tom Krosnowski

Oct 21, 2023, 4:53 PM

Updated 264 days ago

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Saturday was a critical workday for the Connecticut Department of Transportation in their I-95 bridge replacement project over Saugatuck Avenue in Westport.
As the bridge slid into place, the traffic kept moving.
“What makes this successful is all the preparation that we do ahead of time,” DOT project manager Mike Rosenblatt said.
That preparation included ample public notice ahead of closing one lane of I-95 over Westport for a bridge replacement project.
Overnight, crews demolished the old bridge and slid in its replacement. By the early afternoon, it was nearly in place in just a matter of hours.
“Once we get the bridge in place, we'll be doing some paving, a little bit of concrete work,” Rosenblatt said. “Then, the goal is to get everybody shifted over sometime [Sunday], hopefully before Monday, that 6 a.m. window.”
Shutting down a busy stretch of Connecticut’s major highway over a fall weekend sounds like a recipe for a travel nightmare. However, the DOT’s message to find alternate routes seems to have gotten through. Rosenblatt thinks some of the worst traffic may already be behind us.
Even as the main road is expected to reopen for the workweek, the Exit 17 on- and off-ramps will stay closed for the next two weeks until the southbound bridge is replaced. This weekend serves as something of a practice round so that the second installation can go even smoother.
“Once you get through one weekend, usually we can speed up things on weekend two,” Rosenblatt said. “We took some extra precautions knowing about the forecast coming in, and our guys have been working through the night, through the weather, and we're definitely on schedule.”
That second closure is set for Friday night, Nov. 3, through Monday morning, Nov. 6.


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