NORWALK, Conn. — Here’s some Norwalk news for you:
- Walk Bridge program delayed, Burns says
- Four set to join Oak Hills Park Authority
- Norwalk Police seek public feedback
ConnDOT activities ‘may have delay’
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has yet to meet the 90% design benchmark on its Walk Bridge program, Department of Public Works DPW Principal Engineer Lisa Burns said recently.
“Different activities” associated with the various projects that are part of the program “may have delay,” or “this delay may just be folded into” the overall picture, she said.
ConnDOT reached the “60% design phase a year ago. Burns said in early June that the project was expected to reach “90%” in April, but it’s looking like it might be August. She’d know more in mid-July, she said.
“City officials will be meeting with CT DOT staff following the Fourth of July holiday to review the overall program schedule,” Norwalk Communications Manager Joshua Morgan wrote Monday. “There are many moving parts related to the project and the City has requested a full briefing on the project schedule and to hopefully learn more to why the 90% design is delayed.”
The Walk Bridge Program most notably features the construction of a new railroad bridge over the Norwalk River but also includes replacing all of Norwalk’s railroad overpasses and work on East Avenue. Related projects to expand the Danbury Dockyard and create a series of track switches north of the river are already underway, as is work on the Ann Street railroad overpass.
A timeline offered to the public in November shows construction on the bridge beginning late this year. The Fort Point Street, Osbourne Avenue and East Avenue work would begin in fall of 2020.
Delays in the project’s timeline are nothing new: in October 2015, Harbor Management Commissioners said the project was planned to start in February 2017 and be completed in July 2021. ConnDOT took more than three years to move from “30%” to “60%.” The Walk Bridge reconstruction itself has been described as perhaps the most complicated engineering feat ever in the world of building bridges
Then- Norwalk Department of Public Works Director Bruce Chimento in 2017 the “percent design” is “just a classification,” and although ConnDOT was still at 30 percent they were probably much further along.
If they declared themselves to be at “60 percent design” certain statutes would kick in and there would be resultant requirements, he said.
Mayor Harry Rilling has presented five Oak Hills Park Authority appointments to the Common Council for a Tuesday vote:
- Isaac W. Storandt
- Michael DePalma
- John C. Goodchild
- Darius Williams
- Raeann Bromark (a reappointment)
Chairman Bill Waters and former Chairman Jerry Crowley are terming out: after serving eight years they are not eligible to be reappointed.
Storandt, an unaffiliated voter, has been chief operating officer and general manager for The Shore & Country Club since March 2015, according to his resume. He was clubhouse manager for three years prior to that. His resume shows many years spent working for country clubs, from the summer of 2006 to January 2012, the last 1.5 years as assistant manager for The Los Angeles Country Club. His term would expire on June 24, 2021.
DePalma, an unaffiliated voter, served on the Council as a Democrat from 2015 to 2017. He’s been a channel development manager for Datto since March 2015, according to his resume. Before that he was a project engineer for Gilbane Building Company for eight years and served as finance director for DeStefano for Governor from January 2005 to November 2006. His term would expire on June 24, 2022.
Goodchild, a Democrat, has owned American Heating & Air Conditioning since April 2004, according to his resume. He’s been a contractor for Gault since October 2012. His term would expire on June 24, 2022.
Darius Williams, a Democrat, is a freshman at the University of Connecticut, studying political science and expecting to graduate in 2022, his resume states. The member of the Brien McMahon High School Class of 2018 was an early childhood/rec room operator at Birchwood Country Club from March 2017 to January 2018 and was a marketing/communications assistant for the Mid-Fairfield Aids Project seasonally from June 2014 to August 2017. His term would expire on June 24, 2021, as he is filling Jeffrey Taylor’s unexpired term.
Norwalk Police plan to conduct a public satisfaction survey, contacting people who have recently had contact with police “to gauge the general opinion of services provided to members of the public,” a press release said.
The phone survey will generally take five to 10 minutes, with calls made to people selected randomly from the database of those who have called police for service, the release said.
“All information is kept confidential. The caller will NOT ask for any personally identifiable information, and will address the individual by name. We urge the public to never provide their personal information to anyone over the phone,” the release said. “When the Police Department calls for this survey, we will NOT ask for any of your information. The questions will be routine in nature and geared towards your level of satisfaction during the interaction, and outcome, with the member(s) of the Norwalk Police regarding your particular incident.”
“I encourage everyone contacted to take a few moments to discuss your interaction with our department,” Chief Thomas Kulhawik is quoted as saying. “Your feedback is critical as we always seek to improve on our delivery of services as well as our customer service.”