A metal-grid bridge over the Housatonic River in Connecticut, which connects the Merritt Parkway in Stratford to the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford.

Drivers' sensations of slipping, sliding, and vibrating as they traverse its metal deck have given the span a reputation for being, at best, a nuisance, and at worst, an outright danger.

The deck of this bridge is a metal grate, which gives the bridge its nickname, "the see-through bridge." If one looks down while crossing it, the Housatonic River below is clearly visible. Also, the grate has a major design flaw, and as a result the metal decking fits into the vertical treds of tires instead of the horizontal ones which provide traction. As a result, cars shimmy sideways, which leads to motorists slowing down for better control. This slowing down has the opposite effect however. By slowing down even more traction is lost, and more shimmying occurs. This phenominon has been the cause of many major accidents.

On November 24th 2003, the Housatonic (Sikorsky) bridge was finally put into retirement.

This was accomplished by the building of a new 1,800 ft, 6 lane conventional surfaced (asphalt) bridge next to the 64 year old (constructed in 1940) steel grate surfaced original.

The project will be completed in two stages, the first 4 lanes as mentioned previously were finished in November 2003, and the final completion of the new bridge is slated to take place in 2005. The bridge is estimated to cost Connecticut taxpayers 84 million dollars.

The old Sikorsky bridge while still in good structural shape, had become way too small to support the ever increasing traffic demands in the area. This would result in traffic tie-ups even when there was not much traffic. The steel surfaced bridge also made people nervous due to the uneven feel of the steel, and its slippery nature in inclement weather, causing even more delays and accidents.

IMHO, as a driver in Connecticut for over 15 years, it's about time this bridge was dropped, and even though the new span is not complete, the traffic snarls have already started to subside somewhat.

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