WESTPORT, Conn. — A plan to reopen alternating one-way traffic on Westport’s North Avenue Bridge prior to the start of the new school year has been confirmed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), according to First Selectman Jim Marpe’s office.
The bridge, which has been closed to traffic since June, was scheduled to fully reopen Aug. 27 , The Daily Voice previously reported. Unforeseen problems with the bridge’s repairs required a repair schedule which was longer than originally anticipated, the selectman’s office said.
North Avenue serves as a crucial route to school for many Westport students. Coleytown Elementary School and Coleytown Middle School are less than a mile north of the construction site, and Bedford Middle School and Staples High School are just south of the site.
Marpe is urging parents not to drive their children to school to reduce traffic congestion when school begins August 27.
“At this time, Board of Ed. Superintendent Elliot Landon and I would request that all parents utilize the school bus system for their children’s transport - at least during the first few weeks of school,” Marpe said. “This will help reduce the traffic volume and allow everyone to traverse this area of Town with minimum delays.”
DOT Commissioner James Redeker said two-way traffic is scheduled to be restored over the reconstructed bridge on October 29.
Redeker said the DOT is planning on install signal lights to control the one way alternating traffic operation during mid-day, non-peak hours. Officers from the Westport police department will direct traffic during the busiest morning and afternoon time periods, Marpe said.
Marpe said the DOT is having difficulty finding the appropriate traffic signal. If the DOT can’t locate one in its inventory, Marpe said the town would seek reimbursement for flagmen to direct traffic in person.
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