Ridgefielders petition to ‘replace and reopen’ Depot Road bridge
Depot Road bridge in Branchville is set to permanently close tomorrow morning, and at least 60 Ridgefield residents are petitioning for it to reopen.
Michael Trenck, owner of Your Home CPR, started the petition to Ridgefield’s Board of Selectmen and the state’s Department of Transportation on change.org on Monday, Sept. 30.
“There is currently no plan to repair, replace, or reopen this bridge,” Trenck wrote in the petition. “The current alternative to the residents of Branchville by the Ridgefield Board of Selectmen is for all vehicular traffic to use the Portland Avenue bridge as the sole route over the Norwalk River.
“We respectfully ask that the Depot Road Bridge is closed only on a temporary basis, and the Town of Ridgefield immediately and efficiently works towards repairing or replacing this bridge.”
Trenck argued that the closure of the Depot Road bridge creates a number of public safety problems for cars traveling southbound on Route 7
“[Drivers] are now forced to make a left turn against traffic traveling northbound,” the petition said. “There is limited space in the southbound lane and vehicles waiting to turn left will inevitably cause a backup of southbound traffic on Route 7.”
Also drawing concern are cars exiting Portland Avenue and entering Route 7 at an intersection with no traffic light.
“This is extremely difficult during evening rush hour when most commuters are traveling northbound on Route 7,” Trench wrote in the petition.
“There is an increased probability of an accident with more vehicles trying to enter and exit Portland Avenue without a traffic light,” he added. “The Portland Avenue Bridge is currently used by many pedestrians walking between the Branchville Train Station and the businesses across Route 7 including Dunkin Donuts, the Sand Wedge, and Subway.”
The petition also said that the bridge’s closure will make it “significantly more difficult for vehicles to access West Branchville Road, a small street in Ridgefield that is home to a number of residents and a handful of Mom & Pop Stores.”
Trenck said that he appreciates and understands the need to close the Depot Road bridge for safety.
“However, this closure needs to be temporary so that repairs or replacement can be made and the bridge can be reopened as soon as possible,” he said.
To sign the petition, click here.