Selectmen approve road closure, new traffic control

The good news is that drainage improvements are coming to Pemberwick Road. The bad news is that it’s going to be a bit more challenging to drive there during construction.

On Aug. 8, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a road closure for Pemberwick Road and neighboring streets. According to Joseph Loyd Jr., a senior civil engineer for the town, the closure will go into effect in September and will impact Pemberwick Road, Grey Rock Drive and Greenway Drive. A new polypropylene pipe storm drainage system, including precast manholes and catch basins, will be installed with new pavement, curbing and ground cover then put on top.

On Pemberwick and Grey Rock, two lanes of traffic will be sharing one lane with the Greenwich Police Department, at the contractor’s expense, providing traffic control. This project is to try and alleviate several drainage issues, including erosion, by moving the flow of water down Greenway and Grey Rock and onto Pemberwick Road.

“Once this project takes place, that erosion will no longer be an issue,” Mr. Loyd said.

The closure will only be in effect during normal construction hours on Monday through Friday, meaning it will impact Pemberwick from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Grey Rock and Greenway from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday work on all three roads will be permissible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but there’s no indication yet if they’ll be needed. Work would not be permitted on Sundays unless it was considered to be emergency repair work. When the work is done each day, the contractor will be responsible for covering all the excavations so vehicles may safely drive over.

The project officially began on Aug. 12 but the closure will not be necessary until next month. Mr. Loyd said the length of the closure is undetermined right now because it’s unclear how much rock will have to be cleared out. It’s anticipated to start on or around Sept. 16.

“I know this is something the Department of Public Works has been working toward for four years, so it’s great we’re finally at the point where it’s going to be implemented,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said.

Mr. Loyd said he was hopeful this project would be done within six months, but Selectman David Theis said it was likely the rock in the area would be an issue.

“They don’t call it Grey Rock for nothing,” Mr. Theis said.

Neighbors have already been informed of the closure through 230 flyers being mailed out, according to Mr. Loyd, and signs have been put up at the “start points” on the streets.

“People in the area have been well informed that we’re coming,” Mr. Loyd said.

The selectmen also approved a new “no turn on red” sign for the intersection of Laddins Rock Road at East Putnam Avenue near the border of Old Greenwich and Stamford to address not being able to see oncoming traffic when making the right turn at the red light onto Putnam Avenue. This came after several resident requests for the sign and Melissa Evans, traffic operations coordinator for the town, told the board it has been a concern for “quite some time.”

“Although there were no particular accidents that occurred because of the lack of sight distance there is a very obvious sight line problem there,” Ms. Evans said. “There are pillars [left from when the Conde Nast building was there] adjacent to the Hyatt property across the street that, when you’re coming out of Laddins Rock, obscure the view of traffic coming down Route 1 toward Stamford… We can certainly see there’s a problem and it does create a situation where there’s potential for an accident if we don’t do anything.”

There was no debate on the sign and it was quickly approved by the selectmen. Mr. Theis, who works near the intersection, said he had agreed this had become a “very, very busy” area and that this step could be beneficial for both pedestrians and drivers.


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