By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — The new northbound span of Interstate 95 over Saugatuck Avenue has opened ahead of schedule — more than 14 hours before the projected time of about 6 a.m. Monday.

Both sides of the highway bridge reopened to traffic Sunday afternoon, according to the state Department of Transportation, and traffic was moving quickly after days of lane closures, delays and outright stoppages, and collateral traffic radiating outward.

“A successful ‘bridge slide’ on 1-95 northbound was completed over the weekend and the project was completed 14 hours ahead of schedule. Great job to the crews who worked tirelessly over the weekend,” the DOT reported in a post on “X,” formerly Twitter.

It all followed construction of the new span, built above Saugatuck Avenue adjacent to the interstate and then slid into place after the existing span was demolished Friday night into Saturday.

The Norwalk Police Department posted an image from a traffic cam showing the new span carrying three lanes of traffic northbound, and the three lanes of traffic southbound, with the words “I-95 over Saugatuck Avenue Exit 17 is open!”

“Congratulations to the CT Department of Transportation for not only getting this important leg of the project finished on time, but early,” state Sen. Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, posted on Facebook. “I-95 bridge project in Norwalk and Westport completed 14 hours ahead of schedule.”

Morning commute traffic moving freely.
Morning commute traffic moving freely.

Traffic websites and smartphone apps showed traffic moving at highway speed in the area overnight Sunday into Monday.

While the recent traffic woes might be over for now, it won’t be long for the sequel to play out.

Nov. 3 to 6, all I-95 traffic will again be reduced to two lanes in each direction, but this time carried by the new northbound span, while the southbound span is demolished and its replacement rolled into its place.

The work is part of the DOT’s $104 million I-95 Norwalk Westport Project. It extends from Norwalk to the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport.

Thane Grauel grew up in Westport and has been a journalist in Fairfield County and beyond for 35 years. Reach him at editor@westportjournal.com. Learn more about us here.