A new grocery store could be coming to Westport

A Barnes & Noble store at 1076 Post Road E., in the Post Plaza shopping center, in Westport, Conn., closed on Dec. 24, 2020 after operating since 1997 at that location.

A Barnes & Noble store at 1076 Post Road E., in the Post Plaza shopping center, in Westport, Conn., closed on Dec. 24, 2020 after operating since 1997 at that location.

File photo /

WESTPORT — Reports from a recent traffic analysis show a new supermarket at The Post Plaza Shopping Center will have no negative impacts on the local highway system.

Langan Engineering, an engineering consultant firm, was tabbed to conduct a traffic study earlier this year to determine if the redevelopment of the shopping center at 1076 Post Road East will have any bad effects. Part of the plan included replacing the former Barnes and Nobles building with a supermarket, though the potential supermarket has not been named.

In February, Barnes & Noble relocated to 76 Post Road E. in downtown and opened a 10,000-square-foot store. Prior to moving, the book store operated for 23 years in the Post Plaza shopping center.

Senior Staff Engineer at Langan Engineering, Christopher McLean, said that they looked at the anticipated increase related to the property switching from retail to a supermarket and found that there is “no substantial impact to the local highway system.”

“We conducted a traffic impact study on the two intersections nearby,” McLean said. “We don’t expect any change to the level of service or any significant increase in queue length of any vehicles coming to and from on Route 1 or any of the side streets.”

The shopping center’s renovation plan also proposes site improvements, including associated facade and interior renovations, drainage and utility improvements. The 4.78-acre parcel will also expand its parking spaces from 297 to 306 spaces, which includes nine spaces that are compliant for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project does not propose adding to or demolishing any existing buildings, according to the site proposal.

Langan studied the intersections between Post Road, Morningside Drive and Church Street for the traffic assessment.

First Selectman Jim Marpe said since drivers have to make a right turn out of the shopping center, he believes that “naturally” it would cause more traffic to be headed east toward I-95. Selectwoman Melissa Kane doubled down on Marpe’s statement.

“It seems to me as Jim just said that you’ve conducted a study, but it does seem sort of logical that there’s going to be more truck traffic on Church Street,” Kane said. “I don’t know how there isn’t.”

McLean said they are in the process of solidifying plans to reconstruct the driveway on both ends of the plaza.

“There may be a slight increase in traffic holistically,” he said.

The traffic assessment for the site has already been reviewed and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.