STAMFORD — Although traffic in the Stamford area seemed to run smoothly Saturday despite warnings that a closure on Interstate 95 could cause serious delays, some businesses in the area of the construction took a hit.
“In the last three weeks, between the construction on Courtland (Avenue) and this it’s been affecting business in a negative way,” said John Califano, the owner of Stamford Restaurant and Pizzeria.
One of Califano’s customers, longtime Stamford resident Joe Rudd, said, “I had to see if I could get here to my favorite restaurant.”
While the construction is negatively impacting business, there seems to be a level of understanding around town.
“There’s less business than usual but they’re doing what they have to do so it’s better for everyone,” said Chu Trinh of Exit 9 Bagels.
Interstate 95 in Stamford is shut down in both directions in the area of Exit 9 this weekend and next weekend as the state Department of Transportation strips away a dilapidated Route 1 bridge that spans I-95.
Friday, 6 p.m. — Exit 9 on-ramps, northbound and southbound, close; Route 1 drops from two lanes to one.
Friday, 9 p.m. — Exit 9 off-ramps, northbound and southbound, close; Route 1 closes between Courtland Avenue and Seaside Avenue.
Friday, 11 p.m. — I-95 traffic will be detoured to two-lane temporary roadways at the Exit 9 on- and off-ramps; Route 1 traffic will be detoured along Courtland Avenue, turning right onto curving Hamilton Avenue, and back out to Route 1.
DOT officials have told drivers to steer clear of the area, warning that the project would likely cause traffic havoc. Local police in Stamford, Greenwich, Norwalk and Darien told residents to plan for additional travel time, expecting local roads to be swarmed with drivers trying to avoid the highway closure.
There are temporary detours in place for the traffic to skirt the project, and Connecticut State Police predicted possible delays on the Merritt Parkway as drivers looked for alternate routes through the area.
“It’s going very smoothly,” said Officer Eric Cooper. “People are staying away so it’s less traffic than usual.”
Though the officers with shifts had been “dreading the commute,” they were pleasantly surprised to find that it was an easy one, according to Cooper.
Stamford Police Capt. Tom Lombardo said traffic in the city wasn’t bad in the morning but that more cars started to hit the roads as the day went on. Still, he said, traffic was slow moving in some areas, but not problematic.
“We have a large number of officers and a couple of supervisors at significant locations,” throughout Stamford,” Lombardo said around 5:30 p.m. “Right now, you can traverse city roads pretty well. … There are spots where you’re going to sit for a while.”
“Coming toward Stamford from Greenwich wasn’t too bad,” Lombardo said. “Coming into Stamford from the Darien area, there’s a bit more traffic.”
“I just got back from the gym and traffic is fine,” said Katherine Giraldo, a resident of Revere Drive, which is just a few streets away from Courtland Avenue. She speculated on the conditions might worsen: “maybe later since it’s a nice day out,” but “so far everything is fine.”
Hope Rumble, who lives near the bridge, said there was a lot of noise due to the construction last night, but “it’s not really a bother because we know they have to do it for our safety.”
Some were even excited to scope out all the commotion locally and planned to stay off the roads all day as if it were a snowstorm.
“This is the most action this neighborhood has seen in the three years I’ve lived here,” said Whitney Libby, “So we thought, let’s go get an iced coffee and take it all in.”
“I’d much rather it be two weeks long instead of the whole summer,” Shumway said. But even if they wanted to go out, she added, the project “wouldn’t deter us because they have a good flow going.”
Locally, Stamford police did see traffic build up briefly after a collision on Cove Road caused delays on East Main Street and in the Glenbrook area.
Construction is underway to replace an old bridge in Stamford – closing I-95 near Exit 9 and some surrounding roads.
State officials have been warning commuters to prepare for nightmare traffic related to the Route 1 Bridge replacement project.
While the southbound side saw some heavier backups in the afternoon, most people told News 12 that their drive was fairly smooth.
The project involves the demolition of the two bridge spans that carry Route 1 over I-95, followed by the sliding in of new replacement spans using a method known as “accelerated bridge construction.”
Officials say the roadways will be back open on Monday morning. The construction process will unfold again next weekend.