State to present Merritt fixes Monday
Published 1:40 pm, Sunday, June 10, 2012
STAMFORD -- Stamford and New Canaan residents will get a chance Monday night to weigh in on a proposed $64 million project to resurface a 6.5-mile stretch of the Merritt Parkway in both directions from the northern border of Greenwich to just east of Exit 37.
Michael Calabrese, project engineer for the state Department of Transportation, said the cross slopes of the parkway's new asphalt surface will be changed to improve the drainage of rainwater off the road, which will improve safety.
Similar improvements on the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich in 2003 helped reduce the number of crashes dramatically.
After the improvements, the number of accidents in Greenwich fell from a high of 124 in 1999 to 67 in 2003, according to DOT statistics.
"We'll correct the cross slopes because over the years you get some flat areas," Calabrese said. "It should reduce the instances of hydroplaning and ponding, which causes accidents."
The work will also include replacing the roadway surface on four historic overpasses carrying Guinea, Riverbank and Ponus Ridge roads, and Route 124 in New Canaan across the parkway, Calabrese said.
The installation of a waterproof membrane under those roads will prevent damage from stormwater seepage to the overpasses, Calabrese said.
"We're trying to prevent damage from water seeping in," Calabrese said.
Other safety aspects of the project include the use of a protective guard rail along the highway, and shielding rock ledges deemed too close to the road's edge for driver safety, Calabrese said.
If warranted, areas of rock ledge could be partially or completely removed to improve safety, Calabrese said.
"In some cases we might take a couple of feet of rock ledge out and put a fence around it," Calabrese said.
Anyone wishing to discuss the project may contact Timothy Wilson at 860-594-3189 or by email at Timothy.Wilson@ct.gov.
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