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 dockyard, 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.