AP NEWS

Long Ridge Road to close this summer for bridge demolition

February 15, 2019

STAMFORD — A major North Stamford thoroughfare will be closed for 20 days this summer, as the state is planning on replacing an old dilapidated bridge.

That so-called bridge is perhaps more aptly described as a culvert that lies directly under Long Ridge Road, just north of the intersection with Riverbank Road. Commuters who travel the narrow two-lane street every day have likely never noticed the 6-foot by 8-foot culvert buried under the roadway.

But state transportation officials are well aware of the water passageway and a recent inspection of the 1933 structure found it to be in substandard condition, riddled with cracks and no longer performing its main function of allowing water from the Mianus River to flow through.

The bridge replacement was meant to start last summer, but state budgetary issues resulted in the project being delayed until this year. Stamford’s transportation advisory committee met in June 2018 to discuss the project, but it was first presented to the public at an informational meeting in 2015.

At that time, Stamford engineers chose to do the bulk of the work over a two- or three-week period instead of spreading it out over multiple years.

“It was preferred that the work be completed in the shortest amount of time possible short of working around the clock,” wrote city engineer Paul Ginotti in an email from 2015.

The condensed schedule means Long Ridge Road will be inaccessible, from Erskine Road to Riverbank Road, during a planned detour, which can happen anytime between July 5 and Aug. 15, and is expected to last 21 days.

Commuters and residents can also expect the road to be partially shut down at times starting as soon as April 1. As work commences, the road will be narrowed to one lane, with alternating traffic flow.

However, state Department of Transportation project engineer John Deliberto said the bulk of the work will happen during the detour when the road is closed.

He said “there’s very little work that can happen” before then but said workers may remove trees or do minor prep work in anticipation for the work-intensive detour.

During the estimated 20-day detour, New York-based contractor McNamee Construction Corporation will work double shifts to demolish the existing bridge and road and install a new precast concrete culvert and new roadway. The project price tag is $2.45 million.

Uniformed police officers will be stationed at the intersections of Long Ridge Road with Erskine Road and Riverbank Road during working hours. The detour will send northbound drivers onto Old Long Ridge Road, where they can reconnect to Long Ridge Road. Southbound motorists will be sent through Erskine Road and Riverbank Road to get back to Long Ridge Road.

Meanwhile, a bridge on Old Long Ridge Road just south of Hunting Ridge Road will be limited to one lane to limit the amount of weight on the bridge.

According to the city, the Stamford manager of CTtransit was informed of the work and said the detour would not present a “significant issue” to the bus system.

As part of the contract, McNamee will be allowed to close Long Ridge Road to one lane for ancillary work, such as utility relocation, paving and landscaping. The contract runs from April 1 until mid-September.

Single lane closures will be restricted to certain times, including from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the workweek, and from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. on the weekends.

ignacio.laguarda@stamfordadvocate.com