Construction road closures scheduled throughout Greenwich

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved three road closures last week, paving the way for upcoming Greenwich construction projects.

The first closure will be on East Putnam Avenue at its intersection with Old Kings Highway from Monday, July 21, through Tuesday, July 29, because of work being done with a sewer main extension. The roadway will be cut and excavated so an eight-foot sewer main can be installed at 1385 East Putnam Avenue before the roadway is backfilled. No driveways in the area are expected to be impacted.

Donald Petrucci, managing member of DJ Petrucci, LLC, the construction firm handling the project, said that this is being done on what is essentially a “dead road” part of the Post Road since there are no driveways there. Anyone who needs to get to their homes in the area will have “full access,” he said, through Wendel Place to get to Old Kings Highway.

“The sewer main is going down the center of the roadway and it just wouldn’t be practical to let traffic by on either side,” Mr. Petrucci said. “We’ll have guys there and equipment and an open hole we’re working on.”

Mr. Petrucci expressed optimism that the work will take less time than requested for the closure but he wanted to build those days in just in case of delays. The road will be open on Saturday and Sunday.

A second road closure was approved for work on Sound Shore Drive and Strickland Road to redevelop Cos Cob Park and add a continuous sidewalk to the park. That work, which began this past Monday, July 14, is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 1 and the closure is scheduled to last approximately two weeks. However, the exact timing of the closure is not known yet given that it is impacted by progress in the work and other factors such as weather. The closure is supposed to happen within the window of July 21 and Sept. 1 with the town’s Department of Public Works circling the second week of August as the most likely time.

“As part of doing the continuous sidewalk path work we’ve been looking at all the sidewalks on Sound Shore Drive and Strickland, and we found there’s a couple little gaps we need to finish up and put in place,” Jim Michel, the town’s chief engineer, said.

The project involves a little bit of a road realignment so that area trees are not impacted. Mr. Michel said that once the exact dates for the closure are known they will be made public a week before the work starts.

First Selectman Peter Tesei praised the work that was being done on the park saying that he felt it was “coming along very nicely.” Mr. Michel said he believed the work was set to be complete in the park by the end of the year.

“It’s exciting to know there’s an end point,” Mr. Tesei said

The selectmen also unanimously approved a road closure for a pedestrian bridge replacement on Fairfield Road that connects Greenwich Country Day School to its athletic fields. As part of the construction, the existing wood frame bridge and all its associated piers, columns and abutments were removed and will be replaced with concrete abutments to support a new steel frame bridge. The replacement, which is being done by the school, will conform to town Highway Department regulations given its proximity to the road’s curb line.

According to Jon Cebulski, construction manager from Cebulski Construction Inc., a routine inspection of the foot bridge this past spring determined that it was no longer safe. Mr. Cebulski said no one at the school knew the exact age of the bridge but that it was more than 100 years old and had been “repaired substantially on numerous occasions.”

The construction would require a road closure in order for the bridge to be replaced. That already happened on July 8 as the existing bridge was removed and Mr. Cebulski said the intention is to close a portion Fairfield Road again on Aug. 19 so the new bridge could be installed in one piece using a truck-mounted crane. This closure will impact the portion between Hillside Road and Old Church Road and a police-approved detour plan will be put into place.

The detour will be approximately 1.6 miles and there will be police officers posted to direct traffic. The detour will go from Fairfield Road onto Hillside Road to East Putnam Avenue to Old Church Road before returning to Fairfield. The construction had been originally set for Aug. 20 but was pushed up so as not to conflict with a teachers meeting at Greenwich High School.

The approval is conditional, however. Mr. Tesei said there were concerns within the town’s Department of Public Works that all the necessary approvals hadn’t been granted about the integrity of the proposed structure and about whether shifting its placement put it on town property rather than school property. However, both requirements were expected to be satisfied.

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