Sound Beach Ave Bridge Completion Marked with Ribbon Cutting in Binney Park

On Wednesday the Greenwich Dept of Public Works celebrated the completion of the Sound
Beach Avenue Bridge project with a ribbon cutting.

Tony Vitti of A Vitti Excavators LLC in Stamford had the honor of cutting the ribbon.

Located on Sound Beach Avenue, adjacent to Binney Park, the critical project replaced the deteriorating bridge built in 1925.

The bridge is utilized by approximately 14,500 vehicles daily.

DPW Deputy Commissioner Jim Michel shared some of the project background. May 3, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager
The Sound Beach Ave project by Binney Park cost $2.5 million, and was funded through the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP) grant from the CT Dept of Transportation. Construction plans were prepared by Weston & Sampson of Rocky Hill CT and the contractor was A. Vitti Excavators of Stamford. DPW senior Civil Engineer is Gabriella Circosta Cohee, P.E., was the project manager.

First Selectman Fred Camillo noted the bridge project contributed to a more pedestrian friendly park. He noted the corner of the park by the bridge, which is town property had been improved as part of the project and made the park feel bigger.

Jim Michael, who is deputy commissioner of DPW, reflected on the project.

“This is one of my longest standing projects with the town. I started with the town in 2011, and this bridge we started working on in late 2011/early 2012 with the design process,” Mr. Michel said. “It’s been a longtime coming.”

“We worked closely with the residents of Old Greenwich and the neighbors to try to come up with an acceptable bridge. I think we did a nice job accomplishing that while meeting the needs of the town with a more structurally sound bridge, meeting pedestrian needs and improving it for flood control – it is raised up a bit, though it doesn’t appear that way.”

He noted that raising the bridge allowed more water to flow through and helped alleviate flooding upstream, as well as improve longterm flood control for the area.

Road Closure Woes

“We really wrestled with the amount of traffic out here,” he said. “We settled on doing a 3-month time frame for closing the road. We started in April and by July 1 we reopened the road.”

Mr. Michel said there had been some hiccups involving utilities incorporated into the bridge.

“There are a lot of underground utilities that go into that bridge,” he said. “Nobody would know by looking at it, but they worked around it and did a great job.”

Tony Vitti Sr of Vitti Excavators of Stamford had the honor of cutting the ribbon during the Sound Beach Avenue Bridge Project completion ceremony. The project took a year and involved a three-month road detour.May 3, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

In addition to correcting structural and functional deficiencies, the project also eliminated the bridge’s middle pier to improve hydraulic efficiency, relocated the east sidewalk to the interior of the bridge, added drainage to improve runoff, installed new curbing and sidewalk in the vicinity of the bridge, added new pavement markings, installed decorative crosswalks (in the near future) and rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFB), and added new landscaping for the outdoor reading room area.

When designing this project the Dept of Public Works incorporated feedback from the Town’s Planning & Zoning Commission.

In addition to the four landscaped corners of the bridge, the new bridge is faced with natural rounded stones to complement Binney Park and the New England aesthetic of the area which is part of a scenic route.

As part of the highway maintenance work, DPW worked closely with Friends of Binney Park and the Parks & Recreation Dept to extend Binney Park into the outdoor reading room area by developing a landscape extension.

Tony Vitti Jr and Tony Vitti Senior attended the Sound Beach Ave Bridge Project completion ceremony in Old Greenwich. May 3, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tony Vitti Sr, who hails from a town about 100 miles from Rome in Italy, said he started his namesake company in Connecticut in 1968.

“This is my country,” he said. “I have worked in Greenwich for 50 years. I work all over the place but Greenwich is the best place I’ve ever worked. People are more patient, you can talk to them. They’re very nice people.”

Mr. Vitti said his company specialized in water works projects throughout the east coast, including slurry walls and underwater projects.

He explained that when he arrived from Italy, his first job was with a company doing slurry walls, including one in Bridgeport off exit 26.

As for the Sound Beach Ave bridge project, Mr. Vitti said he approached the work “as if it were my own.”

Vitti, who is 82, said he’s up at 5:00am and finishes around 9:00pm. And while he will retire soon, he said he plans to continue to work because he enjoys it.

“I’ve been working since I was seven years old,” he said.

View of recently completed Sound Beach Ave bridge from Binney Park. May 3, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager
Geese in Binney Park. May 3, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager
Ducks and turtles sun themselves in Binney Park. May 3, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager