Travers: ‘No cost to the City’
Updated, 2:31 p.m., 6:06 p.m.: More information.
NORWALK, Conn. — A City project to improve the sidewalk at the East Avenue/Wall Street intersection has hit a speedbump.
Concrete was poured, then the new sidewalk was removed. It will likely be replaced Monday, Director of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking James Travers said.
A reader explained Tuesday:
“The former sidewalk crossing from Mill Hill and Hubble Lane to East Avenue has been dug up over a long period and then recently a new concrete sidewalk was installed that led from East Avenue to a new crossing of Hubble Lane going toward East Wall Street and to Park Street on the Green.
“Then, almost as soon as it was finished, for unknown reasons, the new (expensive!) concrete was dug up–I think it was yesterday–and now there is no sidewalk at all at that busy intersection. There is still one newly installed disability-friendly curb cut, but there is no sidewalk because that sidewalk was demolished. The new (now newly demolished) sidewalk had a curb cut too but it seems to have been dug up.”
Travers confirmed that the just-installed sidewalk was removed. He explained:
“This project is grant funded and must meet the requirements set up in the proposal. The new concrete did not meet the project specifications and therefore had to be removed. The subcontractor who performed this work has been replaced. The new concrete crew is now on site and are performing the removal of the substandard sidewalk and the new sidewalk should be in place in the next couple of days. There is no cost to the City for the sidewalk removal and subsequent replacement.”
It’s a CMAQ-funded project (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program), part of the City’s traffic signal upgrade program, Travers said Thursday. A.M. Rizzo Contractors has the contract.
The reader said the City “has been working on the installation of huge (hideous) black traffic lights at the intersection since last October.” She alleged that “work in Norwalk is done in random spurts and stops” and there’s no way to know when it might start again. While people can walk on the dirt were the original sidewalk was, it’s going to be a “huge muddy mess” if it rains.
“At this point, anyone using a wheelchair on the west side of East Avenue would be unable to cross from East Avenue to Hubble Lane and on to East Wall Street or cross the intersection from East Wall Street to Park Street from that now-nonexistent sidewalk,” she wrote. “And there are no warnings on East Avenue indicating that there is no sidewalk at the intersection, nor are there instructions regarding a safe way to cross.”
Again, Travers predicts the new sidewalk will be built within the week.
Travers said, “I think in short, we hold the contractor (and subsequently, they hold their sub-contractors) to the highest of standards and we do not accept any work that does not meet our specifications. And we do not pay for any replacements to meet those specifications. This is a fully grant-funded project and also a requirement of the funder.”
On Thursday, he said that it’s not a SNAFU, a colloquial phrase defined by Merriam-Webster as “a situation marked by errors or confusion.”
“I would think that our due diligence regarding the inspection of their work, and requiring them to build to our specifications is far from a SNAFU. A SNAFU would have been us accepting sidewalks that at a later date failed from the incorrect installation,” Travers wrote.
He said, “The formwork for the sidewalks are in place and the sidewalks will be poured on Monday. We worked with the contractor to try to get an earlier delivery, but unfortunately, this was the earliest that we could get.”