Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge
The Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge (also known as the Sikorsky Memorial Bridge, and the Housatonic River Bridge) carries the limited-access Meritt Parkway (Connecticut Route 15) over the Housatonic River, between Stratford and Milford, Connecticut.
Sikorsky Memorial Bridge
Traveling eastbound (toward Milford) on the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge in June 2007.
|Carries||6 lanes of the Meritt Parkway (Route 15)|
|Locale||Between Stratford and Milford, Connecticut|
|Official name||Igor Sikorsky Memorial Bridge|
|Maintained by||Connecticut Department of Transportation|
|Design||steel continuous stringer/multi-beam|
|Total length||548.6 metres (1,800 ft)|
|Width||16.2 metres (53 ft)|
|Clearance below||25.9 metres (85 ft)|
|Opened||1940 (original span) reconstructed 2000-2006|
|Toll||(Until 1988) $0.35|
The first bridge, known as the Sikorsky Bridge on the site, was completed in 1940, marking the completion of the Merritt Parkway and the starting point for construction of the adjoining Wilbur Cross Parkway, September 2, 1940. It featured two lanes in each direction and open steel grid deck that saved money in order to not exceed the budget  and was unpopular with drivers. A toll plaza stood at the eastern end of the Sikorsky Bridge until Connecticut abolished tolls in 1988. The toll booth is now preserved in Stratford at the Boothe Memorial Park and Museum.
After years of environmental studies, the Connecticut Department of Transportation awarded an $87 million contract to Balfour Beatty Construction to build the replacement bridge, the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge, in 2000. The southern half of the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge opened in 2003; the Sikorsky Bridge was demolished in 2004. In February 2004, the load unexpectedly shifted on a crane that was removing structural steel from the old bridge. The crane overturned and fell into the partially frozen Housatonic River, killing its operator.
The remaining half of the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge was completed in 2006, two years behind schedule. The new bridge has a concrete deck, with an asphalt surface, three lanes in each direction, full left and right shoulders, a sidewalk for pedestrians, wrought-iron railing, and aesthetic lighting. The bridge also includes a system of concrete fenders that protects the bridge piers from ship collisions, a feature that was absent from the 1940 span.
In 2006, the new bridge was formally dedicated as the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge.
- Connecticut Department of Transportation
- Charles R. Roth (2007). "The Merritt Parkway — The Queen of All Parkways". Trumbull, Connecticut Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02.
- Charles R. Roth. "The Merritt Parkway — The Queen of All Parkways". Trumbull, Connecticut Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02.
- Kurumi (2007). "The Merritt Parkway — Goodbye steel bridge".
- Jill K. Dion (November 21, 2007). "New bridge wins praise". Milford Mirror. Retrieved 2007-12-22.[permanent dead link]
- "What's New - Connecticut Division". Federal Highway Administration. August 11, 2006.
- "Merritt Parkway — Historic Overview". Eastern Roads. 2006.
- "Sikorsky Bridge Replacement Project". MetroPool. 2006. Archived from the original on 2004-04-29. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. CT-177, "Bridge No. 00761, Spanning Housatonic River at State Route No. 15, Milford, New Haven County, CT", 60 photos, 16 data pages, 4 photo caption pages
- Sikorsky Bridge (1939) at Structurae
- Sikorsky Memorial Bridge (2003) at Structurae
- Construction Inspection - Sikorsky Bridge over the Housatonic River Milford/Stratford, Connecticut