FEMA grant to replace Saugatuck Island Wooden Bridge

Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) issued the following statement following the recent announcement of a $1,302,225 Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fully replace the wooden bridge on Harbor Road leading to the Saugatuck Island community of Westport.

“During Hurricane Sandy, rising waters limited access to and from the Saugatuck Island community. This joint effort by FEMA and the State will replace the wooden bridge to the island with one that can serve ambulances and first responders during the event of a future storm,” Himes, Blumenthal and Murphy said. “Hurricane Sandy devastated much of our coastal communities. We are pleased to support such federal and state projects to better prepare for serious weather and ensure the safety of our people and sustainability of our region.”

“The Town of Westport is very appreciative that this FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant has been awarded,” Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe said. “This grant will ensure that our emergency responders have access to the island in the immediate aftermath of any future disaster and that the residents of Saugatuck Shores are assured of on-going safe passage to and from their homes.”

“During high tides, and especially during severe storms like Sandy and Irene, our emergency vehicles can’t use either entrance into Saugatuck Island,” Westport Fire Department Chief Andrew Kingsbury said. “In the case of a fire and strong winds, which occurred so devastatingly in New York during Sandy, many homes and residents would be at risk. This funding for a new bridge will make sure we can access the community during all times to keep our people and property safe.”

The current bridge to Saugatuck Island is a more than 50-year-old timber-and-pile structure. It is not load-rated for emergency vehicles and it was dislodged during Hurricane Sandy, making it completely impassable by any vehicle. The only other entrance to the neighborhood is a low road along the canal bank that is regularly submerged by high tides and during storms.

This grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide seventy-five percent of the total cost of removing the old bridge and constructing a galvanized truss bridge with an open grate deck rated for emergency vehicle and heavy equipment loads. The State of Connecticut will provide the additional funding for the project.

Congressman Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District, which includes the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress