NORWALK, Conn. — The blaring sounds of car horns and squealing tires could be heard Thursday morning at East Avenue and Westport Avenue in Norwalk as state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff spoke about a planned $2.8 million traffic improvement project for the congested area.
The goal of the project is to improve traffic flow and public safety and to realign the intersections of Route 1 at Route 53 and at Stuart Avenue, according to Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien).
State Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk) said the intersection is "public enemy No. 1" as a chokepoint for traffic in the city.
One portion of the project is at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 53. Duff explained that traffic backs up tremendously coming up the hill, “and thanks to our partners at DOT, we made a commitment toward fixing our transportation system," he said.
To ease the traffic flow, there will be an extra turning lane coming up from North Avenue onto East Avenue and “that's going to help a lot of traffic continue to move and not get backed up," Duff said.
"Right now, it gets all the way backed up onto the intersection of Route 7,” he said. Duff said he gets more complaints about this intersection than all other intersections combined.
Perone said a right turn lane would help alleviate traffic in the area.
"You have to visually negotiate with the oncoming traffic -- hand signals, eye gestures -- everything you can do to try and get through," Perone said of the current traffic headaches.
In the second project, which will take place at Stuart Avenue and Connecticut Avenue, “there will be building work there as well, and I think there will also be work to make the intersection safe,” Duff said.
“These two projects are extremely important for the City of Norwalk,” Duff said. "This will be a real win for the citizens."
Work will begin in a few days and is expected to be completed by August 2018.
As part of the project, drains will be upgraded and sidewalks will be moved. It also includes pavement widening and public safety improvements.
The two separate projects are under one umbrella with one contractor —Waters Construction Co.
Also at the press conference was DOT Project Engineer Travis Woodward and Assistant District Engineer Matthew Cleary.
"This project also adds onto the work that the DOT did last year, from here down to Newtown Avenue, on drainage and other types of improvements as well," Duff said.