New I-95 service plaza in Fairfield ready to roll
There's good news for travelers on Interstate 95 -- the reconstructed rest stop at northbound exit 22 is expected to reopen soon.
Paul Landino, head of Project Services LLC, which is rebuilding the highway rest plazas in the state, said he hopes the complex on the northbound side will be open in two weeks. The southbound plaza is about two months away from completion, Landino said.
Neighbors of the rest stops have been pushing for the state to install safety and sound barriers between the plazas and their properties. In addition to residential homes, the plazas are close to the Connecticut Audubon Society's Birdcraft Museum, Tomlinson and Roger Ludlowe middle schools and Fairfield Ludowe High School. As an example of potential safety threats posed by the service plazas, residents have cited an incident last year when a trucker left the plaza and later was found in a Fairfield Ludlowe High School locker room.
In the past, the rest areas, which were built in the 1950s, have been surrounded by chain-link fences.
At meetings with neighbors and town officials, Landino and representatives from the state Department of Transportation have explained that solid fencing, like that found at the I-95 service plazas in Darien, were not included in the scope of the Fairfield project. The northbound fence in Darien was paid for by a private developer, while the southbound fence, described as a trash barrier, was included in the project to protect a nearby pond.
Landino has said at earlier meetings he is willing to install new, slotted chain-link fencing. The construction of the new plazas is being funded by Project Services and not the state.
"I am working with a small group of neighbors on what best options we should pursue," Landino said, regarding fencing at both of the local plazas. "No decision has been made yet, but we are discussing options, and I would expect work to begin in early spring."