Submitted by Mike Bocchino, Nov 17, 2017
As the fall season comes to an end and we once again say hello to the winter winds, I wish to continue to communicate ongoing efforts to keep my constituents in the 150th district as well as the entire town of Greenwich, updated to the best of my ability regarding the Old Greenwich RR station rehabilitation project.
On Friday, Nov. 3 I had a meeting with representatives of the CTDOT, the Town of Greenwich DPW and the Project Management team to discuss pedestrian safety issues at the RR station, specifically under the RR bridge overpass. During our discussions it was expressed to me that the Sound Beach Ave. RR Bridge is in a congested part of Old Greenwich and although the existing roadway conditions appear to be unsafe, the CTDOT maintains that the reduction to an 11’ lane is standard for active construction zones, in addition, the onsite engineering staff ensures the roadway is safely maintained on a daily basis.
Although these may be standard conditions to the CTDOT, I maintained that the sidewalks under the bridge overpass needed to have some sort of pedestrian barrier that would create a safer passage for commuters, residents and children (especially when on bikes). The construction representative indicated that any barrier installed needed to be stabilized and concrete as wooden railings with plywood, if struck by a vehicle, would become projectiles creating a much more dangerous situation.
The CT DOT representatives and contractors reacted quite positively and currently are evaluating and vetting viable solutions. We were also reminded that the original plan closed one sidewalk with one remaining in use. This plan was revised based on the Town’s request to keep both sidewalks open, providing a safe passage under the structure on both the east and west sides. We also discussed improving lighting to which the town is coordinating with Eversource.
The following additional measures have also been implemented to increase pedestrian safety:
• Installation of two temporary signalized pedestrian crossings at the north and south approaches to the Sound Beach Ave. Bridge to allow for safe roadway crossing.
• Installed temporary pedestrian walkway from Sound Beach Ave. east sidewalk to south parking lot, providing a safe barricaded path to and from South Station Drive.
• Town police recently installed speed monitors at approaches of the bridge to alert motorist to their respective speed.
Also, the temporary support is not required for the duration of construction.
The support is scheduled be removed on or around June 18, 2018 which is the end of Stage 7.
Once this occurs, there is an opportunity to provide wider lane widths under Sound Beach Ave. This scenario will be evaluated at that time. Below are key milestone dates related to the completion of the Sound Beach Ave Bridge and the overall project completion;
• Scheduled Completion of Sound Beach Bridge – October 2018
• Scheduled Project Completion May 2019
Finally, I discussed the potential installation of additional bike racks in the South lot but also in the North lot as well. This is something that is being reviewed as well. All of the representatives in attendance CTDOT, Manafort Bros. Inc and the Town of Greenwich DPW are all committed to seeing this project move forward expeditiously but most importantly safely and I applaud them for their efforts and for implementing these changes to address the communities concerns.
I’d like to wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season.
For more information such as news, parking and traffic updates regarding this project log onto www.oldgreenwichrrstationbridgerehab.com or contact the field office at 203-637- 0036.
Mike Bocchino, CT State Representative, 150th district