The bridge closure, which usually causes a major traffic jam on Jessup Road and on the Route 1 bridge, will be an ongoing occurrence in Westport until the repairs have been completed in April.
Cianbro Construction Co. will be working through the beginning of April to make repairs to both the mechanical and electrical components of the swing bridge, formally known as the William F. Cribari Bridge.
Most traffic impacts will occur at night, when the bridge will be closed to remove/replace certain mechanical components. It is possible that some short daytime shutdowns may also be necessary, said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff.
The bridge will be closed between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
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The contractor will be in direct contact with the Selectman’s office to provide adequate notice of closures. In addition, the contractor will be posting information in advance on either end of the bridge using electronic message boards. The state will set up appropriate detour signage during the closures and will be utilizing Westport Police to direct traffic during these events.
Once the mechanical equipment is removed from the bridge for repair, it will be essentially inoperable, according to the contractor. If absolutely necessary, the bridge can be opened manually, but this will require at least 24 hours to physically accomplish, and must be coordinated with the state and the contractor well in advance, it said. The bridge in its closed, (normal), position will still be passable to small vessels. The under clearance at mean high water is approximately seven feet.
It is anticipated that this condition will be in place for the full two months of repair work, the contractor said. The state will be providing notice to the Coast Guard regarding the bridge condition.