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Council kicks off “the year of Wall Street” with latest approval of funding

A map of Wall Street
A look at the Wall Street corridor in Norwalk. (Courtesy of TMP)

The Common Council unanimously approved $798,000 in funding for additional engineering and related design services for the Wall Street Corridor Improvement project at its meeting on Tuesday.

The total cost for the overall project is now “north of $27 million,” Assistant Director of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking Garrett Bolella told the Economic and Community Development Committee on June 6.

“We have $18.4 million in a combination of state and federal funding and we’re actively pursuing that gap in additional grant funding,” Bolella noted. 

As a part of that $18.4 million, the city received a $5.5 million federal grant through Congressman Jim Himes, but that money has to be allocated by September 2026. 

That funding is supposed to cover what was “Phase 3” of the Wall Street project, which includes many of the streets around Wall Street, including River Street, Commerce Street down to the railroad tracks, and a portion of Main Street that “falls within the project area.” 

Bolella said they’re moving that part up now to become the new “Phase 2” to meet the federal timelines, and the additional $798,000 will cover the design concepts and preliminary engineering for that section.

Previously, the second phase included work along Wall Street from the historic bridge west to West/Belden Avenue, and along Belden Avenue, including the intersection with Mott Avenue. That work will still happen, Bolella said, noting that it will now come after the new Phase 2. This section is state funded, Bolella said, and is more than 30% designed.

The Phase 3 design plans will also make it easier to secure grant funding with a “proof of concept and design for the entire area at once,” Bolella said. 

“This is a tremendous project—very few municipalities have the opportunity to reimagine their downtown,” he said. 

Council member Jalin Sead, who represents the district that contains Wall Street, said that he and fellow representative Nicol Ayers were appreciative of the project to support the Wall Street area.

“We both love you guys in traffic and TMP, everything you guys are doing in Wall Street, truly it is the year of Wall Street,” he said, adding that he and Jim Travers, director of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking recently did a walking tour of the neighborhood. “The community knows you guys. We were stopped numerous times by business owners, property owners—that was just heartwarming. The community is really excited.”

Bolella said the department has finalized the construction plans for the first phase of the project, which is the East Wall Street area, and preconstruction activity is “well underway.” 

The substantial “bulk of work” will begin in August, Bolella said, and the department is planning a groundbreaking ceremony for the community on August 1. They’ll also be hosting a public meeting in the late summer or early fall to share all the feedback they’ve received and unveil some of the future phases of design.

Comments

11 responses to “Council kicks off “the year of Wall Street” with latest approval of funding”

  1. Edward Fontaine

    I don’t know I’m not an engineer but this looks like a mess eliminating the right lanes at Mott street and wall the area already clogs up. Eliminating parking at the rotary on main st. Doesn’t help any thing . Street parking is tight as it is there ,. I guess the biggest achievement is less street parking and bottle neck traffic at main and wall with all the buses having to go to main st now. I’m not a fan . Is all this because we want to close River street?

  2. Fabulous – a $27,000,000 project cost for critical infrastructure.
    > Let’s please ensure its success by connecting Wall St w/ The Green & East Ave Neighborhoods !

    Needless to say, the O&G proposal completely conflicts with this vision, not to mention CT’s “Greenest City”.

    > O&G’s ~ 9,600 dump truck runs (per year from an asphalt / concrete plant) might actually make Wall St the highest concentration of this kind of industrial activity on the planet.
    > Norwalk Loses if Industrialization Wins in this Neighborhood !

    Brad Craighead
    Norwalk Green Association

  3. Bryan Meek

    I’d be optimistic if the three way stop we had at main and wall didn’t work better than the traffic lights there now. Is the goal to improve traffic or create more bottlenecks like they did on new Canaan Ave? And how is it the 800 pound gorilla ……Poko…..not even mentioned since they STILL haven’t restarted going on almost 10 years now. How much of the $25 million will be needed to tear that 8 figure plus mistake down?

  4. David Muccigrosso

    I’ve written an op-ed that I hope will run in the next few days in response… but let me just tease it with this:

    Does everyone who’s obsessing about traffic here think that Washington Street moves traffic any better than Wall?

    And whatever your answer to that is, how do you explain that Washington is FAR more successful than Wall?

  5. John O’Neill

    While I appreciate the effort on Wall Street area it seems our elected leaders are forgetting about Washington Street.
    Has anyone counted the empty storefronts in and around Washington St/North Main Street area lately?
    Momentum and Perception are incredibly important things…
    Two other observations:
    1) Recently, a house went on the market in a wealthy section of Norwalk for $ 3.3 Million.
    City has house appraised for $ 2.2 Million
    Just an example of how poorly the Reval was — Many more examples of this if one cares to investigate
    2) I’ve noticed many of Climate activists in Norwalk live in oversized houses
    Wouldn’t it make sense to scale down to save the planet?

    1. David Muccigrosso

      Actually about 3 new businesses have come in in the last month, with 1 relocation. It’s a pretty banner month, considering how things have mostly gone since the pandemic closures and reopenings.

      1. The new Georgian restaurant is opening this weekend.
      2. The old Kaas & Co got turned into a bodega/snack/smoke shop (dull, but still counts).
      3. Jean’s Closet moved out of the alley and onto the corner between Prime and the Eco place.
      4. A patio furniture showroom is taking up one of the old defunct art showrooms.

      1. Vernon Howard

        I’ve seen a lot of businesses open and close over the years, sometimes within a year of opening. What are Match, Donovans, and some of these other businesses on Washington St. doing to stay in business while so many others fail? I believe the largest deterrent to people visiting are the parking fees, lack of parking, and the horrendous traffic caused by the bridge and double parking by delivery people who clog up the street in the evenings. What is the city doing to address those issues?

    2. Thomas Belmont

      Does anyone on the Common Council have Building Construction Experience, traffic engineering experience, Engineering Economy and Contracts and Specifications experience? If not how can they let such large contracts without a written regard to cost, risk, and comparisons in a presentation to the PUBLIC.

  6. Zvi Cole

    Great news for Norwalk and the Wall Street area but it will be ruined with thousands of dump trucks servicing the O&G Plant. This plant should not be returning to operation. The city is supposed to be green and with the revitalization of Wall Street and Downtown, an active plant will negate the enhancements. Our air, water, pedestrian safety, noise pollution, and overall quality of life in Norwalk are all in jeopardy if this plant resumes operations.

    1. David Muccigrosso

      Agreed. Legacy businesses like O&G need to be relocated, not clog up traffic downtown.

  7. Howard Kelly

    Wall Street has so much potential and this is a needed shot in the arm. I love that the city is being proactive here, improving the streetscape to encourage continued improvement/investment.

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