Ridgefield's Main St. project delayed due to supply chain: 'We're being told every week — next week'

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RIDGEFIELD — Supply chain challenges have delayed the completion of the town's roughly $3 million Main Street or streetscape project, which is intended to improve the flow of traffic on Main Street.

While the project, which has been in the works since 2019, was expected to be completed by last Thanksgiving, crews are now anticipated to finish by the end of April or beginning of May.

It's "about 75 percent complete, from a financial perspective," said Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi Thursday morning at the annual State of the Town Address at The Lounsbury House on Main Street.

Eighty percent of the cost is covered through federal money and 20 percent from state money.

"There's a supply chain issue and we're being told every week — next week, next week next week. Right now, it's the middle of April that we're expecting to have (everything) in," said Marconi at the event, which was hosted by the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce.

The delays are the result of supply chain issues for new traffic lights for three intersections.

"It'll be a beautiful Main Street and help with the traffic flow," Marconi said, of the project, once it's complete. "We made some small improvements and I think that's what Ridgefield wants. (Main Street) needed an upgrade."

The last upgrade to Main Street was in 1985, he said.  

Traffic lights, restriping, plantings

The Main Street project involves realigning the intersection near CVS, adding dedicated turn lanes, installing bumpouts and pedestrian push buttons at crosswalks, and adding new trees and plantings along sidewalks. It also involves the addition of traffic lights and milling, paving, and re-striping Main Street between Governor and Prospect.

Aside from installing traffic lights, additional work needed is restriping crosswalks with more durable, permanent paint than what was used previously, and which has since washed out.

There will also be concrete work performed at each intersection. 

At the State of the Town, Marconi also discussed some portions of the project that have already been completed, and how they're already helping with traffic congestion.

He said while drivers have "some backups at peak traffic hours," turning lanes, which were put in heading north at Catoonah Street and at CVS, "are helping a lot because a lot of that backup (is) created by cars waiting to make a left."

Heading south, there's a new turning lane onto Bailey Avenue, he added. 

"All of that has helped a little bit with the flow of traffic and we think the signalization will even bring it up a grade as well," he said.

New plantings will also be put in on, once the weather gets warmer.

He said originally, the state Department of Transportation wanted to widen the streets that are involved with the project but residents were against that idea.

"They wanted to come in and make it wider, blow it all open, get four or five feet on each side, take all the trees down and make this thoroughfare through town," he said. "People were ... upset about that."

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the project is about $3 million.