WESTPORT, Conn. Westporters looking to send a package through the U.S. Postal Service will no longer visit the post office at 154 Post Road E. starting Tuesday. Instead, they'll drive a few hundred feet up the road to the new Playhouse Square storefront.
The downtown post office had been located at 154 Post Road E. since 1935. However, after mail-sorting operations were moved to the Westport Post Office annex in Norwalk, the 10,000-square-foot facility became bigger than needed, USPS spokeswoman Christine Dugas said. Couple that with financial strain, she said, and the postal service sold the building in May.
"The U.S. Postal Service faces unprecedented challenges," Dugas said. "First-class mail revenue has dropped 25 percent and is expected to drop another 25 percent in the next five to 10 years, bringing in a lot less revenue. We've got to reduce expenses and increase revenue where we can, and this was one way to do that."
Not only will the new 2,700-square-foot facility better serve the needs of the postal service, Dugas said it also will better serve customer needs. Unlike at the previous location, which officially closed its doors Saturday, the new facility will offer 24-hour access to P.O. boxes.
Although fewer P.O. boxes will be located at the new facility, Dugas said all those who currently have one, and then some, will be accommodated. "We had many boxes that were not rented at the old location, so we didn't see the need to put the same amount at the new location," she said.
People who had a P.O. box at the old facility will only need to get new keys when they visit the new location for the first time, she added. They will not be required to change their address.
Another benefit to customers, Dugas said, is the ample parking at the new facility.
The only other change is that bulk mail operations will be transferred to the annex. Other than that, Dugas said hours of operation and services offered will remain the same. The post office will be open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.
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