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ConnDOT explains its first Walk Bridge-related work

Walk Bridge Project Manager Christian Brown of HNTB Corporation explains the Danbury dockyard project, Wednesday in City Hall.NORWALK, Conn. — The first construction related to the replacement of the Walk Bridge is slated to begin in July.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) will begin work on the Danbury dock yard, just south of Science Road, and on the “CP-243 Interlocking,” a series of switches about 1.5 miles east of the Norwalk River, officials said Wednesday during a presentation at City Hall.

The dockyard will allow electrified trains to head north about a mile and then turn around in the vicinity of the Norwalk transfer station, ConnDOT project manager John Hanifin said.

There are express trains for Norwalk and Stamford that currently use the Walk Bridge to turn around, Project Manager Christian Brown of HNTB Corporation said. The dockyard will help handle train traffic when the Walk Bridge is constructed and it will be a long term benefit, they said.

It’s a $70 million, 30-month project.

The nomenclature CP-243 was explained: CP is a control point, a geographic block for trains. The New Haven line is coded as “2” and the area is 43 miles from New York City.

A series of switches will allow trains to switch tracks, which will be important when the number of tracks are reduced for the Walk Bridge construction, they said.

It’s a $210 million, 42-month project.

Work on the Walk Bridge will begin in early 2019, they said, but they meant work on the three bridge projects that are connected to the big project over the Norwalk River.

Those are the Fort Point, Osborne and East Avenue bridges.

The entire Walk Bridge project is expected to cost $1 billion, with $550 million just for the construction of the Walk Bridge itself, Brown said.

During question time, State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142) asked if the construction of The SoNo Collection would be affected by the Walk Bridge project, as they will both be happening at the same time.

“I don’t see any conflicts,” Brown said.

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Mike Mushak both made pitches for putting train station in the Wall Street area while all the train construction equipment is in Norwalk.

Mushak asked that something be done to stop the idling of diesel engines in South Norwalk. It’s like a jet engine, and the noise comes from electric generators, not the train engine, he said, asserting that it would be easy to solve the problem by putting a power hookup on the Monroe Street bridge.

The exhaust is bad for people’s health and there’s a hotel being built right there, he said.

He was thanked for his comment.

 

One comment

Michael McGuire April 13, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Electrifying the tracks through to Wall Street would be a spectacular idea.

That would allow the trains that are turning around in the dockyard to back up to Wall Street as the starting point fro the run back to NYC.

With 2,000 new housing unit that have come on line (or soon will be) all within walking distance to a Wall Street Station this is a huge win for everyone involved.

With this level of rail service within walking distance the demand for these housing units will be robust, even during a downturn which benefits the taxpayer by maintaining value.

Our streets would be less crowded as these 2,000 new housing units are increasingly occupied by train commuters.

Norwalk taxpayers would see a marked increase in tax revenue from the Wall Street area (est. at $2.0 million per year) based on the shear demand for business to locate around train stations.

Norwalk benefits by new business being attracted to downtown.

The State benefits as well – a train station like this is a jobs magnet for the tech community. Tech savvy companies need to locate in cool downtowns that have a train station. After all, its hard to give a $1,000 to a tech savvy college grad to stay around when there are not enough tech jobs.

They have an acronym for everything noted above – TOD (Transit Oriented Development).

Train Stations are Job and Development Magnets. And don’t forget the Bus Station would sit right next to the Train Station.

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