By Thane Grauel
WESTPORT — The new southbound Interstate 95 span is now open to traffic after a second weekend of major bridge work.
The new half of the bridge had three lanes of traffic moving over it about 4:30 p.m. Just before 5 p.m., all lanes in both directions were open again.
The southbound span over Saugatuck Avenue was demolished Saturday and its replacement, which was constructed over Saugatuck Avenue over the last few months, slid into place in the wee hours of Sunday.
After repaving, striping, moving jersey barriers around and other housekeeping, both sides of the new bridge were reopened to traffic around sundown Sunday, far ahead of the 6 a.m. Monday schedule.
Two weeks ago, the northbound half of the bridge was demolished and replaced.
The work had I-95 squeezed down to just two lanes in each direction, and with outright periodic closures, over the two weekends.
The work is part of the state Department of Transportation’s $104 million I-95 Norwalk Westport Project. It extends from Norwalk to the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport.
Other parts of the project include:
• Reconstruction of the center median and right shoulders, along with resurfacing of the highway mainline and ramps at Interchanges 16 and 17.
• Reconstruction of median consistent with other stretches of I-95, to provide a 6-foot-wide capped concrete barrier section.
• Widening of left and right shoulders where possible.
• Improving drainage by replacing and rerouting drainage structures.
• Replacing existing highway illumination system.
• Installation of realigned traffic Incident Management System.
• Installation of new guide rails.
• Utilization of wet retroreflective pavement markings to provide increased visibility in wet conditions.