Mariomi Road Bridge Set for May Reopening

The state is paying for 80 percent of the estimated $1.2 million upgrade—a new bridge that town officials say is "vital" to New Canaan's infrastructure.


Town officials say an important north-south artery for motorists traveling into and out of New Canaan up near the Wilton line is on schedule to reopen in May after closing for about eight months for much-needed repair.

State officials are paying for 80 percent of the estimated $1.2 million needed to replace the old steel-girder Mariomi Road bridge with a longer-lasting pre-cast concrete model, according to Steve Bury, senior engineer with the New Canaan Department of Public Works.

“It’s certainly a vital road,” Bury told New Canaan Patch. “It’s going to be an important addition to the town’s infrastructure that’s going to last for a long time.”

Spanning the Silvermine River just a few hundred feet east of where Mariomi and Valley Roads intersect, the bridge will have been shut down for 240 days by the time it reopens May 8, Bury said. Motorists now are redirected to a Hicock Road detour, meaning they have to travel just a bit further north on Valley Road to hook up with Cheese Spring Road feeding into Wilton.

When completed, the new Mariomi Road bridge will resemble another relatively new bridge on Hicock Road itself (see photos), also spanning the Silvermine. It’s finished with a natural stone façade and is intended to blend in with the neighborhood, Bury said.

The Mariomi project qualified for state funding under an elaborate Connecticut Department of Transportation formula that factors in variables such as how much traffic crosses the bridge and its condition.

Bury described the Mariomi bridge’s condition prior to construction as “critical” with serious decay including holes in the girders. The pre-cast concrete is far less likely to develop cracks and bumps, as it’s designed to expand and contract with the area’s often harsh and extreme weather conditions, he said.

Patrick Henry February 21, 2013 at 04:00 PM
It's not terrible, at least not for me. The presence of the Hickock bridge mitigates the impact for most people who usually use the Mariomi bridge. I imagine those who live directly on lower Mariomi or Thayer Pond and the associated streets feel differently. I would be interested in hearing those other opinions. I must say, this project does not appear to have as severe an impact as the Lakeview project, the Old Norwalk Rd. project or the East Ave. project from the late 1980's, since those roads (all closer to downtown) carry much more traffic than the more-residential area of Mariomi and Hickock.
Heather Devitt February 21, 2013 at 06:21 PM
We can't wait!!! Looking forward to the new bridge and less time and miles in the car!!! Thank you!!!
Angela Dunn February 21, 2013 at 07:26 PM
So glad this article was not about a delay! Will be glad to have our direct route back and to take the extra 3 miles per round trip into town off the odometer.
Amy Zinser February 21, 2013 at 09:32 PM
The bridge will have been closed for about a year by the time it reopens--not 240 days as stated in the article. It closed last May. We live right near the bridge, and my son will miss seeing the construction equipment. I will NOT miss the extra 8-10 minutes per round trip, or the confused drivers turning around in my driveway because they ignored the "bridge closed" signs!
Four Jacks February 21, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Let the accidents begin once the bridge opens. It will be difficult and dangerous to make a left turn onto Valley thanks to the ridiculous wall the inconsiderate homeowners erected on the corner of Mariomi and Valley just prior to the closing of the bridge. Thanks inconsiderate neighbors!
Baffled Resident February 21, 2013 at 10:21 PM
The sight line is perfectly fine. You shouldn't have any issues seeing traffic traveling eastbound on Valley. If you don't believe me, you can check it out for yourself, as you can access that portion of Mariomi.
Four Jacks February 21, 2013 at 10:51 PM
I already had trouble BEFORE the bridge was closed, as did my neighbors on Mariomi. Are you the owner, or just Baffled?
Baffled Resident February 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM
They didn't even have the wall finished before the bridge was closed. Anyway, i've made a left turn on Valley from that portion of Mariomi, and i didn't have any issue with the finished wall obstructing my view. It's much more difficult to make a left from Hickock onto Valley, IMHO.
Stop Complaining February 22, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Rules are rules, the wall is up to code-stop complaining- is everyone else tired of all the crying about every issue
Four Jacks February 22, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Until someone gets hurt....
Four Jacks February 22, 2013 at 01:52 AM
And someone will get hurt, just wait and see. And then the town can have yet another lawsuit because they allowed something "legal", but not sensible. And how many iterations of that wall were there before it got to code? We neighbors watched the ongoing changes. These homeowners did a disservice to all that drive on that road, and they knew what they were doing because the town was all over it. Selfish.
KN February 22, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Maybe if people actually drove the 30 mile-per-hour speed limit on Valley Road making a left turn wouldn't be so dangerous!
Glen K Dunbar February 22, 2013 at 02:47 PM
I do not live in that RICH part of town. Though, everyone in this town is Richer than I am. At least they are happier and more normal and have love in their live. Not like me. My life is like a deep dark Abyss. Thanks for Nada New Canaan. (some of you) As for this bridge. What took so long? How long does it take to build a simple bridge? Wish I could live in one of those rich houese. umm.
TH February 23, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Eight months passed in January. If this bridge doesn't open until May, it will be a whole year. As usual Glen is right by asking why this bridge took so long. Do you think if a private party contracted to replace a roughly 50 ft bridge that it would cost $1.2 mn or take a year? More government inefficiency if you ask me. Besides, if you walk down there today on Feb 22, it is basically done, why will it take 3 more months to open? Please ask Mr. Bury to answer why another 3 months and if he realizes that it has already been closed for 9 month?
Four Jacks February 26, 2013 at 06:11 PM
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, please view my photo below to see the line of sight driving north on Valley Road approaching Mariomi. Tell me this is safe.
Michael Dinan (Editor) February 26, 2013 at 06:15 PM
@4J: Thanks for the photo upload, I've put that story back on the homepage and featured your pic. -Mike
Baffled Resident February 26, 2013 at 06:26 PM
You initially voiced the opinion that it was "difficult/dangerous" to make a left turn from Mariomi to Valley due to the wall. Your photo depicts traveling eastbound on Valley. To support your assertion, you should provide a photo taken from the stop sign on Mariomi, with your camera lens pointed westerly on Valley. This portion of Mariomi has been accessible since day 1 of the construction, as the 2 homes on the corner both have driveways that are accessed from Mariomi.
Four Jacks February 26, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Thanks Mike!
Four Jacks February 26, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Hi Baffled, please check out my photo and then tell me the line of sight is fine.
Four Jacks February 26, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Dear Baffled, When the bridge is opened, I will gladly post more photos, or since it is perhaps YOUR HOUSE (?), you could post the photos yourself to refute mine. At the moment, it is difficult to get into Mariomi and turn around with that huge "road closed" sign there.
Baffled Resident February 26, 2013 at 10:26 PM
My house? No, i'm afraid not. FJ, it isn't difficult at all to access it. Both lanes are clear to allow those 2 homeowners access to their driveways, which are located at least 50 feet(minimum) from Valley Rd.
KN March 01, 2013 at 02:53 AM
I need to correct myself. The posted speed limit is actually 25 miles per hour! What a joke. If they place a cop at the bridge (hidden behind the 'wall') they could recoup that 1.2 mil in a few weeks...
Observer March 04, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Why is no one working on the Bridge? I dont even see the inspector there??
Michael Dinan (Editor) March 04, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Hello everyone, I’ve heard back from the town on some of the questions and points you’ve posted here: 1. The contract is technically for 243 calendar days. Due to the project being funded through state aid, regulations require a “winter shutdown” of the project from Dec. 1 to March 31. Contract days are not counted during this winter period, thus the contract finish date is in early May and the contractor is not beyond the time limit. 2. The work proposed for the next several weeks by the contractor is not on the “critical path” to the opening of the bridge. 3. The contractor has been allowed by the town to work throughout December, January and February in an effort to reduce the likelihood of the roadway closure extending past early May. Allowing the contractor to continue to work in the winter runs the risk of the state not participating in the extra associated costs if they do not deem the winter work productive. In effect the town has already allowed the additional months of winter work and has not approved of the fourth month. (continues ...)
Michael Dinan (Editor) March 04, 2013 at 06:41 PM
4. A large portion of remaining work is heavily dependent on consistently warm weather to be completed properly. In order for the project to be completed, the region’s asphalt plants will need to be operating, which usually does not occur until late March or early April. In light of these issues it was deemed prudent by the town to suspend work for a few weeks. This suspension of activities protects the town from unnecessary expenditures and should not effect the reopening date of the bridge. The contractor may be cleared to work again later in the month, depending on weather conditions. Hope this is helpful. -Mike
Observer March 04, 2013 at 07:59 PM
HMMM, Go figuire.
TH March 05, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Wow, I wonder how the finances on the Lakeview bridge got so messed up given all of these rules. Just another example of government inefficiency. So let me get this straight, if we "allow" the contractor to work in the winter, we risk losing state funding? Why not just get the bridge done as quickly and safely as possible?


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