Distracted driving campaign underway

The state Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office began the second wave of the “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.” campaign this month. Through this initiative, officers will be cracking down on motorists who text, talk or distract themselves with a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

Through Aug. 15, drivers will see an increased law enforcement presence on state roadways with a strong focus on catching distracted drivers. Officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is endangering the public by using their phone while behind the wheel.

During the first wave of this campaign in April, more than 10,000 citations were issued to motorists who chose to ignore Connecticut’s distracted driving laws.

The second leg of this two-part campaign will also have special patrols aimed at catching drivers on their phones.

Under the state’s cellphone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

For information about national distracted driving issues, visit distraction.gov.

Construction in Westport throughout August

The state Department of Transportation began to repair deficiencies on the Cribari Bridge on Aug. 6, and plans to complete the work within six weeks, weather permitting. The contractor will work at night between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, closing the bridge, including the sidewalk, to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during that time period. Marine traffic requiring bridge openings may be limited during the work periods. The contractor will post appropriate detours around the bridge work.

Residents, commuters, and mariners are encouraged to plan accordingly and seek alternate routes if necessary.

The rehabilitation work on the bridge carrying Clinton Avenue over the Merritt Parkway will begin on Aug. 13. The local road over the parkway will have nightly alternating one-way traffic patterns starting Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. and will reopen daily at 6 a.m. This traffic pattern will remain in place for eight weeks. Traffic patterns will be restored to the original configuration on Oct. 8 at 6 a.m. Motorists are advised to anticipate possible delays during the night time hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the rehabilitation work.

The bridge carrying Newtown Turnpike over the Merritt Parkway will also begin stage 1 rehabilitation work Aug. 13. The existing two-way traffic lanes will be reduced to 11-foot-wide lanes with temporary traffic barriers installed to close both shoulders of the roadway. This traffic pattern will be in place until June 2019.

Residents and motorists are advised to anticipate possible delays during construction hours.