Home Fairfield Subcontractor’s typo gives New Canaan the ‘Norton River’

Subcontractor’s typo gives New Canaan the ‘Norton River’


Fairfield County history buffs will know that the Noroton River got its name from “Noroaton,” the Siwanoy Indians’ tribal village situated at the mouth of the river. The river did not get its name from the Hucklebuck-dancing sewer worker Ed Norton from the classic television sitcom “The Honeymooners.” But thanks to an amusing error by a subcontractor, the section of the river below the Jelliff Mill Bridge briefly turned New Canaan into 328 Chauncey St. in Brooklyn.

Norton Noroton River
The real Norton as portrayed by Art Carney.

According to a report in the NewCanaanite, the $3.2 million project to replace the Jelliff Mill Bridge was awarded to New England Infrastructure Inc., a contractor based in Hudson, Massachusetts. Although the project was completed last summer, it was missing a pair of signs that would inform travelers that the Noroton River flowed under the bridge.

New Canaan Public Works Director Tiger Mann said that the contractor outsourced the sign creation to an unidentified subcontractor, with clear instructions on how to spell “Noroton.” What happened next is unclear – perhaps the subcontractor was distracted watching Mrs. Manicotti dancing the mambo or was too busy practicing to be a contestant on “The $99,000 Answer,” but the signs came back as the “Norton River.”

How long the “Norton River” signs were posted without anyone noticing the typo is also unclear, with Mann saying they had only been up “very recently” until his office realized the error on Monday. The signs were removed and sent back to New England Infrastructure, which vowed to expedite error-free replacements.

And while New Canaan can no longer claim a river named Norton, fans of “The Honeymooners” can all gain solace from Art Carney’s beloved character’s pithy observation: “Like we say in the sewer: ‘Time and tide wait for no man.’”

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