MERRITT PARKWAY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
FAIRFIELD & TRUMBULL
Project No’s 50-204/206 & 144-178/180

MERRITT PARKWAY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)


  1. What is the scope of the Merritt Parkway Project in Fairfield and Trumbull?
  2. How does this project fit into the Master Plan developed for the Merritt Parkway in the early 1990’s?
  3. Why is this project needed?
  4. Where does the funding for this project come from?
  5. What is the schedule for the project?
  6. How are we maintaining and protecting the historic nature of the Merritt Parkway with this project?
  7. Will the architectural details of the bridges be retained after the bridges are repaired?
  8. Why is it necessary to remove so many trees as part of this project?
  9. How many trees will be removed? How many trees will be replanted?
  10. Why has so much of the brush and undergrowth been removed?
  11. Aside from trees, are there other plantings included in the project?
  12. How will motorist safety be improved after this project?
  13. What protections have been put in place to prevent trees and plantings intended to remain from being damaged during construction?
  14. What happens if some of the new plantings do not survive?


  1. What is the scope of the Merritt Parkway Project in Fairfield and Trumbull?

    The project limits are from the Congress St. overpass (1.5 miles south of Exit 44) in Fairfield to the vicinity of Exit 51 (Route 8) in Trumbull.

    The project includes nine (9) miles of repaving requiring milling of existing asphalt (a prior overlay over concrete pavement), drainage upgrades, curb and guiderail replacement. A total of over 90,000 metric tons of asphalt will be placed.

    The project will also replace the bridge carrying the Merritt Parkway over the Mill River. The new bridge will consist of a precast concrete frame spanning approximately thirty five (35) feet founded on a cast-in-place foundation on mini-piles. The construction will require five (5) Maintenance and Protection of Traffic (M&PT;) stages to allow four (4) lanes of traffic at all times. Extensive sedimentation control measures are required to prevent sediment from entering the Mill River during construction operations.

    The project includes rehabilitation of thirteen (13) Historic Structures
    • Three (3) carry the Merritt Parkway over a road or river.
    • Eleven (11) carry roadways over the Parkway.

    These historic bridges will receive various degrees of rehabilitation. Repairs will extend the life of the structure while preserving the historic characteristics.

    There has been selective clearing performed to remove trees within the established safety section to improve sightlines. Invasive species such as poison ivy and bittersweet have been selectively removed and extensive landscaping will be installed at selected locations.

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  2. How does this project fit into the Master Plan developed for the Merritt Parkway in the early 1990’s?

    The master plan was and is the guideline used on all Merritt Parkway Roadway Projects.

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  3. Why is this project needed?

    This project is required to rehabilitate deteriorated structures, improve drainage, improve roadside safety and improve/enhance the historic nature of the Parkway.

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  4. Where does the funding for this project come from?

    This is a Federal Stimulus Project and is being 100% funded under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

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  5. What is the schedule for the project?

    This project is scheduled to be completed in August 2012.

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  6. How are we maintaining and protecting the historic nature of the Merritt Parkway with this project?

    All structure rehabilitation will restore the bridges as historically accurate as possible. Selective removal of trees is limited to ones that pose a safety hazard and to enhance views of the historic bridges. Invasive species will be removed and replaced with native trees, shrubs and ground cover.

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  7. Will the architectural details of the bridges be retained after the bridges are repaired?

    Yes – Bridge plans call for matching the color and texture of the concrete as well as, restoring the architectural features and details.

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  8. Why is it necessary to remove so many trees as part of this project?

    There are several reasons:
    • To remove obstructions within the established safety section.
    • To improve sightlines
    • To allow improvements to the shoulders and drainage
    • To allow for the replanting and health of existing native species.


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  9. How many trees will be removed? How many trees will be replanted?

    Approximately 1,800 to 2,000 trees have been removed.
    Approximately 6,000 plants will be set.

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  10. Why has so much of the brush and undergrowth been removed?

    The removal of invasive species is a key factor in upgrading the appearance of the Parkway while allowing for the replanting of native species.

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  11. Aside from trees, are there other plantings included in the project?

    Yes – winterberry, aster, black eyed susan, sweet fern, witch hazel, daylily, rhododendron blueberry, mountain laurel, bayberry, azalea, daisy, juniper, chokecherry, yarrow, button bush and elderberry

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  12. How will motorist safety be improved after this project?

    This Project will improve the median and roadside with guide railing and barriers specifically designed for the Parkway. Motorists’ sightlines will increase, trees will be removed from safety sections, shoulders and drainage will be improved.

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  13. What protections have been put in place to prevent trees and plantings intended to remain from being damaged during construction?

    A pre-clearing meeting was held prior to any tree cutting activities. The areas to be cleared were first surveyed and marked according to the project plans seven (7) days prior to removal. A field review was performed by the CT DOT, the Construction Inspection team, the Contractor, and tree wardens from the Towns of Fairfield and Trumbull were invited to attend. This field review was to confirm the trees to be removed and those that were to be protected. Protective fence has been installed for trees identified to remain. Approximately four hundred (400) trees are being protected in this fashion within the construction limits, and can be seen while traveling the Merritt parkway. Selective clearing was performed over an area of approximately 180,000 square feet (4 acres).

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  14. What happens if some of the new plantings do not survive?

    The project specifications include a two year warranty period for all plantings included in the project. Questionable plantings will be removed and replaced prior to contract completion.

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