‘More resident parking’
NORWALK, Conn. — The redesigned Calf Pasture Beach parking lot is open for use and officials sought to spread the word Tuesday with a ribbon cutting.
“We have more resident parking than we did before,” Mayor Harry Rilling said. “Residents will be able to park closer to the beach, non-residents will be having to park further away. We have redone our handicap parking so it’s more visible, more accessible to people that need it. We’ve made a safe pedestrian walkway.”
Less obvious are sustainability efforts. About 3,125 square feet of permeable pavement will filter water and keep runoff out of Long Island Sound, Chief of Operations and Public Works Vanessa Valadares said. The work includes Shady Beach and between the two, eight retention basins have been added. More than 20 trees have been planted along with shrubs and perennials, creating wildlife habitat.
Recreation and Parks had a line item for Calf Pasture Beach paving, “that was very overdue,” Valadares said. Engineers brainstormed with Recs and Parks staff to bring more to the project.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding was combined with capital bonding to finance the $2.17 million project, she said. FGB Construction “did a fantastic job to bring this project on budget by the deadline.”
The project created a better egress and ingress for park users and added 25 parking spaces, Norwalk Recreation and Parks Director Robert Stowers said.
“The new parking lot will accommodate parking spaces for 379 resident-only vehicles and 150 non-resident vehicles,” Norwalk Director of Communications Michelle Woods Matthews explained in February. “Additionally, we have removed the jersey barriers from the old non-resident parking area and included a color-coded system that designates parking spaces for non-resident parking. This brings the total number of resident-only parking spaces at Calf Pasture and Shady Beach to nearly 650, which also includes 100 parking spots along the water, 100 along the marina fencing, and 65 at Shady Beach.”
Bocce courts have been installed and a new skate park is planned in a separate project, Stowers said.
The staff even made sure maintenance-friendly materials were used, making maintenance easier and less expensive, Stowers said. The permeable pavement “makes it easier for maintenance, because they won’t have to be dealing with puddles and they will be able to clean our hardscapes, keep them clean for our residents.”
“You know, Norwalk has several great attractions,” Common Council President Greg Burnett (D-At Large) said. “However, our beachfront areas without question rank at the very top of the list. We live in a coastal city. And we continue to invest in our beaches, to ensure that our residents have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty that our beaches offer, and have the opportunity to have precious, enjoyable, relaxing experiences here at our beaches.”
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