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.