The Greenwich Department of Public Works held a public information session on Thursday, January 25, 2018 to present its revised plans for the reconstruction of the Cider Mill Creek Bridge on Sound Beach Avenue, just south of the Perrot Library. The bridge received a rating of "poor" in 2012 when its safety was evaluated and should be replaced. As part of that work, the town also plans to change the rotary in the front of the library and the intersections of Sound Beach Avenue with Laddins Rock Road, Harding Road and Forest Avenue. None of these intersections with Sound Beach Avenue meet current state or federal requirements covering intersections of their type.
When the bridge over the creek is replaced, the town would like to make it FEMA-compliant and able to withstand a 100 year storm. In order to do this, the roadway and bridge must be raised by about two feet. The project is high priority (ranked #1) for the Flood and Erosion Control Board which has been studying all drainage in town since the significant flooding that occurred in 2007. Emergency Services personnel have also identified the project as important since there are few routes available into Old Greenwich when there is significant flooding created by rain or tides at Binney Park. In 2011, Irene was a rain event where water was over the rotary. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy created flooding at the elevation of 10.2 feet and the top of the road is at 8.5 feet.
The plans presented on January 25th differ from those presented in Summer 2017 in the following ways:
The island at Forest Avenue has been preserved with one direction of traffic on each side of the island.
The rotary in front of Perrot Library has been changed to a true roundabout which would be about the size of the roundabout on Havemayer Lane at Northridge Road.
Sidewalks have been reduced in width from an extra wide 10 ft. to standard width of 5 ft..
The number of trees to be removed has been reduced from 17 trees to 7 trees.
There will be no property takings; there will be a parkland swap between Binney Park and the small park on the corner of Harding Road and Sound Beach Avenue. The area of parkland will not change.
There is less paving (i.e., asphalt or impervious surface) in the new plan.
The curb of the new rotary will be 8 feet closer to the library than it is today. The level of the roadway at the rotary will be 30 inches higher than it is today.
The current rotary does not meet current traffic design standards. The DPW says the changes to the rotary will make this stretch of Sound Beach Avenue safer. There have been 26 accidents along Sound Beach Avenue between Perrot and the First Congregational Church in the last 6 years. Half of those accidents have had injuries associated with them but there have been no fatalities. Thirteen of the accidents have happened at the rotary itself and thirteen have happened at the Forest Avenue intersection.
Funding for the project is not impacted by the state's DOT cuts. The project will be bonded and is projected to cost $5 million.
Easements will be required on a temporary basis for construction purposes. Sound Beach Avenue will be totally shut down for 4 to 6 weeks during this project.
These images were presented by the DPW at the January 25th meeting.
Rendering of the reconfigured Perrot Library rotary (below). Traffic approaching the rotary from Sound Beach Avenue, Laddins Rock Road and Harding Road must yield to vehicles already traveling in the circle. Pedestrian crosswalks (drawn in red) are set one car length behind the line (broken white line) where a vehicle would wait to enter the rotary.
Below, a rendering of the reconfigured intersection of Forest Avenue/Sound Beach Avenue intersection. Traffic will move in only one direction on each side of the island, which would be preserved.
Below, an aerial photograph of the Perrot Library rotary as it appeared in January 2018.
An aerial rendering of the changes planned for the Perrot Library rotary. The rotary was described at the January 25 meeting as being comparable in size to the rotary on Havemayer Lane. There is one lane of travel around the circle. The light gray area of the circle would be raised pavers which would allow extra space for trucks to navigate the roadway; cars would not drive on the pavers. The road surface at the rotary will be 30 inches higher than it is currently to reduce risk of the intersection being under water during storms.
A rendering of the streetscape looking south along Sound Beach Avenue, traveling from the Post Road toward the village of Old Greenwich and passing the Perrot Library parking lot on the left.
A rendering of the streetscape looking north, driving along Sound Beach Avenue from the stores of Old Greenwich toward Perrot Library. The grade of the street will rise as it approaches the rebuilt Cider Mill Bridge (shown in the drawing to the left) and rotary to keep Sound Beach Avenue from flooding.