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Merritt Exit 41 Traffic Mitigation Project Set to Begin in July

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A site plan of the building site at Mahackeno, with the first stage of the new facility in yellow.

A site plan of the building site at Mahackeno, with the first stage of the new facility in yellow.

The Westport Weston Family Y has announced that construction work at Exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway is expected to commence the week of July 15. This project is intended to help with traffic mitigation related to the construction of the new Y facility at the Y’s Mahackeno campus, adjacent to the interchange and the longtime home of its summer day camp.

The Family Y will hold a public informational session on Monday, June 24 at 7 pm in the Board Room of the Y’s downtown facility at 59 Post Road East. Representatives from the Y and its construction partners, including the site contractor, civil engineer and traffic consultant, will be on hand to explain the state-approved traffic phasing plan and to address questions regarding the traffic mitigation project.

Both the State Department of Transportation and the Transportation Commission have approved the Family Y’s application to modify Exit 41 to improve safety. The Town of Westport Board of Selectmen, acting in its capacity as the Local Traffic Authority, voted unanimously in 2010 to concur with the State Traffic Commission recommendations for traffic mitigation.

The project is being funded entirely by the Family Y as part of its “Building What Matters” capital campaign to fund and construct a modern new Y facility at the 32-acre Mahackeno property, which is bordered by the Merritt to the north and Saugatuck River to the east.

The approved plans will:

* Widen the Merritt Parkway Connector – The existing two-lane Merritt Parkway Connector between the Route 33 intersection and the Merritt Parkway northbound exit/entrance ramps will be reconstructed and expanded to four lanes to provide additional travel lanes to improve traffic flow in both directions.

* Improve Northbound Exit/Entrance Ramps – The Merritt Parkway northbound exit ramp will be reconfigured and expanded to two lanes and “smart” signalization will be added to improve traffic flow management. The northbound entrance ramp also will be enhanced with the new signalization. Both traffic signals on Route 33 at the Exit 41 interchange will be incorporated into this smart signalization.

The northbound exit and entrance ramps of the Merritt's Exit 41 interchange will be widened and a signal installed to improve traffic safety.

The northbound exit and entrance ramps of the Merritt’s Exit 41 interchange will be widened and a signal installed to improve traffic safety.

To facilitate the Exit 41 interchange construction project, the Westport Weston Family Y will deed to the State a portion of its Mahackeno property along Allen Raymond Lane and adjacent to the interchange.

The Family Y broke ground on its modern new home in February. Work on the foundation walls and footings is nearing completion; the steel framework for the 54,000 sq. ft. facility will be erected starting this month. The new Y is expected to open in September 2014.

Please visit www.westporty.org for more information or contact Rob Reeves, Family Y CEO, at 203-226-8981, ext. 131 or rreeves@westporty.org.

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