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ConnDOT fields Walk Bridge-related noise complaints, reaches out to public

A Nov. 17 Facebook post by Tessa Lee Orgera.

Updated, 1:41 p.m. Nov. 27: Meeting has been moved to 20 Marshall St.; 10:29 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Noise from Walk Bridge-related construction is making life difficult for East Norwalk resident Tessa Lee Orgera.

The nighttime rock grinding is just part of the problem; Orgera said the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) cut down all the trees behind Reboda Court six months ago “and left things wide open for all the kids in our neighborhood in danger.”

Norwalkers with similar concerns are invited to a Walk Bridge Program public information meeting Wednesday in the Walk Bridge Welcome Center, located at 20 Marshall St. There will be two sessions with identical info presented, at 4 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m.

Orgera’s complaints stem from the “CP243” project now underway in the Norden Place area. ConnDOT is installing a series of track switches that will allow railroad traffic to reduce from four tracks to two, a necessary preliminary step for replacement of the aged Walk Bridge railroad crossing over the Norwalk River.

Orgera said ConnDOT cut down the trees six months ago, then put up a temporary fence that “blew down the tracks with the first big wind.”

That was replaced with a permanent steel barrier that “does nothing” for the neighborhood or the kids, because her family lives less than 100 feet from the cliff that leads to the tracks, and the trees and vegetation had kept the children away from a 50-foot drop, Orgera wrote to NancyOnNorwalk.

Orgera complained about noise in a Nov. 17 Facebook post, in which she told sympathizers that she had called Norwalk Police and been told to call the State Police, then the State Police told her to call the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Noise has been a topic at previous Walk Bridge information meetings; ConnDOT project engineer Stacey Epps in June said that ConnDOT is allowed to produce 90 decibels of noise, in defiance of the Norwalk noise ordinance.

“We govern ourselves, we are also governed by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency),” Epps said, citing state statutes.

ConnDOT has been grinding rocks day and night near Reboda Court, from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., ConnDOT Director of Communications Judd Everhart wrote to NancyOnNorwalk last week. Although no work was done over the Thanksgiving holiday, it was slated to resume today, Nov. 26, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 16, he said.

“Work immediately adjacent to and requiring access to the tracks must take place at night, as that is when Metro-North Railroad can provide track outages on the New Haven Line due to train schedules,” Everhart wrote. “The Department understands that noise and illumination impacts from construction is a concern of residents. The Program is in the process of evaluating options to lessen these impacts.”

ConnDOT received two inquiries regarding the work, one sent through State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) and the other a voicemail left at the Walk Bridge Welcome Center.

Orgera confirmed that she had left the voicemail. She hadn’t yet connected with ConnDOT, she wrote Wednesday.

The rock grinding is being done on the south side of the New Haven Line, between Howard Avenue and Bridge Street, according to a ConnDOT “Construction news” email blast.   The e-mail also announced track work on the Danbury Branch between Marshall Street and Jennings Place, part of the Danbury Branch Dockyard project, which will provide an area for trains to turn around as the Walk Bridge is replaced. That, too, is creating nighttime noise, according to the e-mail, and intermittent pile driving on the Norwalk River is also creating noise and vibrations between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Work on Ann Street continues, with alternating one-way traffic and daytime noise.

Topics at Wednesday’s meeting include

  • The scope of the Walk Bridge program
  • Walk Bridge design considerations
  • Environmental mitigations
  • Program construction schedule and Walk Bridge staging

 

The presentation will be live-streamed and then archived on the Walk Bridge Facebook page, the email said.

ConnDOT is also holding an open house at the Walk Bridge Welcome Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 20 Marshall St.
“Bring your children to build and color bridges, and experience the 240’ Vertical Lift Walk Bridge Replacement through virtual reality goggles,” ConnDOT states on its website. “Program representatives will be available to answer questions and lead children’s activities. Light refreshments will be provided.”

Noise outside Orgrera’s home, on Nov. 17:

Noise inside the home, on Nov. 17 (at 10 seconds into the video):

9 comments

Piberman November 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

And this is only the Beginning of the Boondoggle’s Bridge’s construction. Imagine what happens when the full construction of the billion dollar Boondoggle gets going. Reminding us of the old saw; “We get the governance we deserve”. And that no other major CT city, even those with major industrial downtowns and harbors, have a huge Lift Bridge. Just Norwalk. For “mysterious reasons” ! Maybe Developers ?

Piberman November 26, 2018 at 9:50 am

Does anyone really believe CT’s DOT will take into account Norwalk citizen complaints on the billion dollar Walk Bridge that has no visible support outside our City Hall ? Even CT’s major cities with industrial harbors do not have Lift Bridges. Just one for Norwalk which doesn’t have an industrial harbor.

Rick November 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Meadow st and Woodward ave have noise rules , thats what Colin worked so hard for can’t the city use the same plan on the bridge job?

This is what Norwalk needed , a wake up call physically .

according to the e-mail, and intermittent pile driving on the Norwalk River is also creating noise and vibrations between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.. I heard for the next 5 years , its odd how details are dropped from the stats. Then we heard not one but a dozen pile drivers ,

But city hall is not working with the public on this one, they realize who is running the show. Its not Harry or Duff yet tell us honestly boys what do you know?

“We govern ourselves, we are also governed by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency),” Epps said, citing state statutes.

Just like Ryan park the city still screwed up , a lot of trust by those who voted for this administration .

Wait till those look out your windows and find freight trains with hazardous cargos sitting waiting for stack space, yes the city has no idea whats coming next go look at other rail yards get the police and fire reports determine if Norwalk is ready for whats coming with the bridge and them X4 with the mall.

You voted you backed you ignored now live with it folks the majority owns the mess coming. those who complain are ignored the plan is larger than just your needs,

Live next to rail and not want noise is Harrys defense. Like it or leave your lot is worth a 6 story high rise.

The cheese dapple express is about to make a stop in Norwalk .

Michael McGuire November 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Noise issues during construction, particular in an urban setting, is something the City really shoild address.

When POKO was being built there were times (which lasted a week or more) when the noise was so loud that the businesses that occupied the front of our building (64 Wall) could not operate/occupy their space.

We had looked to the Building Department for some relief. They were sympathetic and “working on it” but ultimately to no avail. I’m pretty sure they did not have adequate authority to impose noise mitigation restrictions/efforts.

I think the CC (if possible) needs to give the Building Department Authority to address this very important issue.

A City should be able to protect its citizens (business and residents) from “highly caustic” excessive noise that is often produced in urban construction sites. Making this a requirement of a construction permit would go a long way to protecting everyone’s interests.

Claire Schoen November 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Wow, when was the last time you read a story with an audio file to round out the content? Where else can you get this kind of 3-dimensional reporting?

Tomorrow is #GivingNewsDay – yes, you’ll hear more about this tomorrow. If you value Nancy’s reporting, PLEASE show your support, whatever you can give, by donating at Newsmatch:

https://www.newsmatch.org/organizations/nancy-on-norwalk

It’s your support that keeps Nancy going.

(Remember, it’s tax-deductible 🙂

Claire Schoen November 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm

Just saw this on Facebook –

UPDATE: The location of the Walk Bridge Public Information Meeting on Wednesday 11/28 has changed to the Walk Bridge Welcome Center at 20 Marshall Street in Norwalk (the first floor of the Lock Building). The meeting will take place in two identical sessions at 4 PM and 6:30 PM.

Bob Partisan November 27, 2018 at 11:24 am

ConnDOT better mail out ear plugs because they’ve barely even started any real work related to the Walk Bridge Replacement.

Just wait until they start driving piles.

No one in City Hall cares. They’re too busy arguing about murals and sending out taxpayer dollars to scammers.

Debora Goldstein November 28, 2018 at 12:21 am

The DOT has stated that noise complaints for walk bridge work is supposed to be submitted to Norwalk Customer Service, who “shares the info on a weekly basis”.

Call 854-3200 EACH AND EVERY TIME you have a noise impact. These calls are the only basis for future noise mitigation plans. If you suffer in silence, nothing will be done.

John Flynn November 28, 2018 at 12:32 am

What people don’t realize. They are adding tolls so 190 million the federal government is giving Ct for taking away tolls will be dropped. So the price tag went from $600 million to $1.6 billion in 5 years. The State was expected to pay 20%. The feds were expected to pay 80%. Who cares if Divine brothers adds to truck traffic. Adding the tolls will increase the States deficit not reduce it. So adding the 190 million lost to the 320 million to be paid is $510 million in costs to the State on top of a $2,4 billion dollar expected deficit. Good luck Democrats; your going to own this disaster. The Walk Bridge is not in the projected deficit and it could lose funding in the middle. If this deal stalls, Norwlak will definitely file chapter 11, it is bankrupt right now.

We need to sue to block the Walk Bridge until adequate compensation for the 400 Norwalk businesses fail. All their taxes just went up. They are barely hanging on. When the streets are closed to foot traffic the music will stop. Send me an affidavit of your monthly revenue and expenses get it notarized and mail it to me 27 Quintard Ave Norwlak Ct. 06854. Do it now or I can’t help you. We need to block them before they start or we will be liable for their damages after they start. I filed a claim in Stamford Superior Court in September. Judge Povodator is holding it up. He was appointed by Malloy.

Bankruptcies will start in January and will not end for 6 years. There will be a mass exodus.

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