First phase of Ridgefield’s Main Street construction project nears completion

RIDGEFIELD — The first phase of a $4 million project to improve traffic flow on Main Street is expected to be completed by next week, First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

During the town’s tri-board meeting Tuesday, Selectman Bob Hebert asked for an update on the project, which is aimed at realigning the road. Twenty percent of the work is being funded by the state, and 80 percent by the federal government.

Over the past couple of months, crews have been working on underground utilities, Marconi said.

Eversource, along with a Westport-based contractor, worked at the intersection of Main and Prospect streets, near the entrance to the CVS parking lot. They installed a new transformer, underground vaults and wires and cables that extend into CVS and other properties. A new sidewalk was poured in front of The Toy Chest, Marconi added.

Frontier Communications and AT&T have adjusted the communication line on the corner of Governor and Main streets, since the road will be “dropped down” during the realignment, Marconi said. The road’s gas main also was lowered.

Utility work is expected to be completed by Nov. 24, just in time for Thanksgiving. Work is expected to resume after Christmas.

“After the holiday, we will see the gas company come back in the evening and make some new connections for laterals into all of the buildings where they put a new main in, and then transfer that over,” Marconi said. “Eversource will also be working to pull all of their new cable in the conduit that was laid, but all of that will be taking place after the first of the (new) year.”

During the second phase of the project, which is set to break ground in the spring, the state Department of Transportation will mill, pave and restripe Main Street between Governor and Prospect.

In addition to realigning the intersection near CVS, workers will add three dedicated turn lanes, install bumpouts and pedestrian push buttons at crosswalks and add new trees and plantings along the sidewalks. Ridgefield has retained registered landscape architect Jane Didona to work closely with state officials to ensure the landscaping is consistent with the rest of the town.

Former Planning and Zoning Commissioner Charles Robbins acts as a liaison to Department of Transportation officials working on the project. He said work would resume in April 2022 at the intersection of Prospect and Main streets, then move south near the intersection of Governor and Main streets. The final phase of the effort will be landscaping, which is slated to start in September 2022.

“There is a net loss of four parking places in this entire project, and the dedicated turning lanes … will allow the flow of traffic to improve substantially,” he said in an earlier interview. Additionally, “all of the traffic lights will be sequenced — right now, they’re not.”

The construction will take six to seven months, bringing the overall project to completion by Thanksgiving 2022.

“We do not want that project to go into the holiday season next year,” Marconi said.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Charles Robbins as a Ridgefield Planning and Zoning Commissioner. He no longer serves on the commission, but continues to act as a liaison to state Department of Transportation officials working on the town’s Main Street realignment project.

alyssa.seidman@hearstmediact.com