The Connecticut Department of Transportation (Department) will conduct a Joint Public Hearing and Public Scoping Meeting for State Project No. 135-301, which involves the reconstruction of Atlantic Street in the city of Stamford (City) and the replacement of the existing Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) Bridge over Atlantic Street (Bridge No. 08012R). The hearing will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Stamford Government Center, Cafeteria Room, 888 Washington Boulevard, Stamford, Connecticut.
Atlantic Street is currently an undivided road with one lane of traffic in each direction under the MNRR Bridge. Sidewalks are approximately 8 feet wide and are on both sides of the road and are separated from the roadway by the bridge piers. Atlantic Street widens just north of its intersection with South State Street and the I-95 NB Exit 8 ramp to five total lanes, three southbound and two northbound. With the recent construction of the Stamford Urban Transitway (SUT), Atlantic Street widens just south of the MNRR Bridge to six total lanes, four southbound and two northbound.
The Atlantic Street underpass, located approximately 900 feet east of the Stamford Transportation Center, was originally constructed in 1896 and consists of riveted steel thru-girders supported by brownstone masonry abutments and steel pier bents. The bridge presently carries five MNRR tracks over Atlantic Street, and serves as a gateway between the Stamford Central Business District (CBD) and areas south of the rail corridor. The underpass is adjacent to Station Place, which is the main access to the station and the location of the main parking garage. Atlantic Street, therefore, provides significant access between I-95, the station, the CBD and to south Stamford. This structure is classified as functionally obsolete due to the narrow underpass width as well as the existing minimum vertical clearance of 12 ft. – 4 in., which restricts the use of Atlantic Street by larger vehicles, including those operated by emergency service providers. As is typical for structures of its age, the bridge’s structural components have deteriorated and require regular maintenance to ensure its operational sufficiency.
The purpose of this project is to improve the horizontal and vertical geometry for Atlantic Street at the bridge, to increase the roadway capacity by providing additional travel lanes on Atlantic Street, and to improve pedestrian circulation in the vicinity of the Transportation Center. It was also determined that the project should include provisions for an additional track for the railroad, as well as a platform to service this track. The resulting layout accommodates these needs.
The new bridge will consist of concrete-encased steel girders supported by concrete abutments with a center pier. The proposed increases in overall span length and cross-sectional width of the new structure will require the reconstruction of the existing railroad retaining walls along South State Street. Concrete form liners or other means will be used to recreate the aesthetic elements of the existing structures. At the request of the City, the brownstone which comprises the existing bridge abutments and portions of the retaining walls, will be salvaged and turned over to the City for reuse.
The proposed roadway cross-section of Atlantic Street under MNRR as coordinated between the Department and the City will consist of three 11-foot lanes in each direction with 2-foot outside shoulders. A right-turn only lane will be provided in the northbound direction onto South State Street. An approximately 6-foot wide median will be provided to accommodate the bridge pier, which will divide each direction of traffic on Atlantic Street. An 8-foot wide sidewalk will be provided on both sides of Atlantic Street.
The proposed vertical alignment on Atlantic Street will accommodate the required depth of the bridge structure and provide a 14.5 ft. minimum vertical clearance, which meets functional standards. This alignment will require the lowering of Atlantic Street by approximately 3.7 feet at the maximum. The limits of the proposed roadway reconstruction and lowering are between North State Street and Dock Street/SUT. Extensive utility relocations and modifications are required in order to accommodate the revised bridge structure and the changed profile of Atlantic Street.
The lowering of Atlantic Street will also impact the intersections of Atlantic Street and the I-95 NB Exit 8 ramp, and Atlantic Street and Manhattan Street.
Due to the existing Exit 8 ramp is already quite steep, it cannot remain in its current configuration with the proposed lowering of Atlantic Street. As a result, it is proposed to construct a new bridge to carry the ramp over Atlantic Street and establish a new touchdown on South State Street between the Atlantic Street and Canal Street intersections. A new signalized intersection will be created at the touchdown.
Manhattan Street will be lowered at the Atlantic Street intersection and then rise to meet the existing grade at a point approximately 100 feet from Atlantic Street. This will require some regrading of Manhattan Street and its sidewalks, but there are no private property impacts anticipated from this work.
In order to avoid the implementation of lengthy roadway closures and extended disruptions to traffic along I-95 and the local roadway network, as well as related impacts to MNRR services, the Department proposes to employ Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques to shorten the duration of the project, and the use of temporary ramp crossovers to reduce the Exit 8 ramp closure period. These techniques will entail the assembly of the new railroad bridge superstructure at a remote location and then moving it into position. Closures will be reduced to an approximately 2 week long period during the actual erection of the railroad structure, with additional short duration closures required for the completion of utility work and construction of the ramp “tie-ins.”
Preliminary plans will be available for public review starting on November 12, 2013 at the Stamford Engineering Department, located at Stamford Government Center. Department personnel will be available during the hearing to discuss this project. More detailed information is available at the Department’s Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Connecticut, during office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Anyone wishing to review the plans may contact Mr. Robert Brown at (860) 594-3207 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
All persons interested in this project are welcome to attend this meeting and discuss the project with Department personnel.
The location is ADA accessible. If language assistance is needed, please contact the Department’s Office of Communications at (860) 594-3062.
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