Cribari Bridge (a.k.a. Bridge Street Bridge )
About 3 years ago, an inspection of the bridge by the Connecticut Department of Transportation ( CT DOT ) revealed many deficiencies needing remediation. These included:
- bent steel above the roadway from collisions involving vehicles
- rusted steel above and below the roadway
- Missing grout in the stone foundation below the river
The CT DOT came forward with a plan to replace the Cribari Bridge which met opposition from from numerous Westporters and Groups for 2 reasons.
- The bridge is a iconic landmark for Westport and Saugatuck having been originally built in 1884
- The bridge serves as a traffic limiter for Saugatuck and Greens Farms Road. The vertical clearance of the bridge is 5 inches lower than standard. Consequently, 18 wheel tractor trailers cannot cross the bridge and thus we see very few on Greens Farms Raod.
The CT DOT held public meetings in Westport to explain 2 options:
- Replace the bridge with a new bridge
- Erect a temporary bridge, remove the current bridge for repair and improvements, then put it back.
• At that time, no option to just repair the Bridge was offered.
CT DOT officials stated sever times at these meetings that they wanted “all vehicles legal to be on the road in Connecticut should be able to cross the Cribari Bridge.”
The 2 options the DOT currently recommends would add 5 inches of vertical clearance to the Bridge, permitting large trucks to cross the bridge. The Board of the Greens Farms Association ( GFA ) discussed this matter extensively, and decided to advocate for repair of the Bridge deficiencies, and maintain the structural dimensions as is.
Later, the CT DOT formed a Project Advisory Committee and the GFA participated as a Stakeholder. At these meetings, repair was considered as one of 3 options. The GFA continued to advocate for repair.
Link: See the PAC Meeting Slides pdf for extensive information.
We are now at the end of the PAC process, and the CT DOT is asking for public comment until October 13.
Link: See the Public Comment News pdf for information on how to comment.
The GFA continues to advocate for repair of the Cribari Bridge keeping its current dimensions for these reasons:
- The Bridge is the most iconic of historic Westport landmarks, and should be preserved. We have learned that most Westporters, including Saugatuck residents agree.
- We do not want Greens Farms Road to to be an easy bypass to I 95 both north and south when I 95 is heavily congested. We do not want 18 wheel tractors on Greens Farms Road.
The Westport Preservation Alliance agrees with our viewpoint, an has outlined additional ways ways in which you can make your voice heard.
Link: Please see the letter from the Westport Preservation Alliance.