By Thane Grauel
WESTPORT — If you haven’t gotten the memo, it would be a good idea to avoid Interstate 95 this weekend.
The roadway will have all traffic squeezed down to two lanes each direction on the new northbound span over Saugatuck Avenue.
The southbound span will be demolished Saturday and its replacement, which was constructed over Saugatuck Avenue over the last few months, will be slid into place, sometime Sunday.
After repaving work and other housekeeping, the entire new bridge should reopen to traffic by 6 a.m. Monday. If all goes according to plan.
Saugatuck Avenue itself is now closed to traffic, which is being detoured using Charles Street and Riverside Avenue.
Two weeks ago, Saugatuck Avenue had long backups heading toward the area. Traffic was stopped altogether at times on I-95. Many truckers appeared to avoid the region altogether, using Interstate 84 instead to get in and out of Connecticut. Motorists headed for the Merritt Parkway, which appeared to have heavier traffic than usual.
The state Department of Transportation warns of major traffic delays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
At 8 p.m. Friday, as the work to shift travel lanes was starting, I-95’s northbound traffic was at a near standstill in Norwalk heading toward Exit 17. People apparently didn’t get the word that the area was to be avoided.
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.
Watch a time-lapse video of the northbound span sliding into place here.