March 29, 2019

Senator Haskell Welcomes State Bonding for Necessary Westport Bridge Repairs

State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) announced today that the State Bond Commission, when it meets on April 2nd, is expected to approve funding for much-needed bridge repairs in Westport. The Commission has allotted funding for work on Westport’s Kings Highway North bridge over Willow Brook, which has had a weight limit imposed on it since 2016 due to wear.

The Bond Commission reported it plans to allocate $1,156,570 for work on the bridge on April 2 as part of a bond package that includes nearly $250 million for transportation infrastructure across Connecticut.

“I am grateful to the State Bond Commission and the Governor for their critical investment in Westport’s transportation infrastructure,” said Sen. Haskell. “This bridge has had a weight limit imposed on it since 2016 and was identified by the Department of Transportation as deficient in that year. This bridge dates back nearly 100 years, and I support efforts to retain aspects of its historic design and recognize its long-lasting importance to the town. However, public safety must be a priority as we rebuild. Westport needs infrastructure that can stand up to the challenges of today.”

“Westport is counting on the bonding allocation for which the State made a commitment in 2018, and we appreciate Senator Haskell’s support,” said Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe. “The Kings Highway North bridge was de-rated to four tons in August of 2016, and since then, our emergency responders, school buses and many smaller vehicles have had to take a time consuming detour. Because of this, the repair of this bridge is a high priority for the Town, and the Bond Commission’s action is an important step in addressing that priority.”

“As a gateway to our historic and bustling downtown, it’s exceedingly important that the Kings Highway North bridge be safe and state of the art while maintaining its historically significant and lovely design,” said Westport Selectwoman Melissa Kane. “I’m very happy that the State Bond Commission is approving funding to cover much needed repairs, and I will be advocating to make sure the repairs are in keeping with its original design and recognize its significance to the town.”

According to the Town of Westport, in 2016, the Department of Transportation found conditions on the bridge were deficient. That required work to preserve its safety, including the imposition of a weight limit of four tons. Funding supplied under the state’s Local Bridge Program will be matched by local funding.