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Portion of East Avenue to Close Along with East Norwalk Train Station

The East Norwalk Train Station in 2023. (Photo by Kelly Prinz)

The Norwalk Traffic Authority approved a three-week closure of East Avenue from Fort Point Street to Winfield Street from March 11 to March 31, the same time that the East Norwalk Train Station will be closed. 

The closure will allow Frontier to expedite its work in relocating the fiber lines that run under the bridge, conducting the removal in three weeks instead of two to three months of alternating lane closures in the area. 

“We are always brainstorming ways we could minimize all the impact the project does around the neighborhood,” said Vanessa Valadares, Norwalk’s Chief of Operations and Public Works. “We thought it would be a good idea to propose a full closure of the road so this way Frontier can [remove] its infrastructure during that three-week period, instead of an eight-week period.”

Valadares and officials from CTDOT and Frontier said that they thought it would be a good idea to time the closure with that of the train station, as it would reduce the number of pedestrians in the area as well as car trips in and out of the train station.

“We look at this as kind of a win-win,” she said. 

Officials from CTDOT said Frontier is the “last utility” with equipment under the roadway, so once the lines are moved, the department can remove some of the steel structures under the road that help to support the bridge during excavation. Officials said those structures are part of the reason that the East Avenue roadway is so uneven in that area.

During the road closure, traffic will be detoured onto Van Zant Street and Fort Point Street, a concern that Commissioner Tony Lopez raised.

“East Avenue is very, very busy as we all know,” he said. “It’s a concern even when you divert traffic onto Van Zant and Fort Point. I’m just not sure how much of that volume we’re now detouring is going to affect businesses and residents.” 

Valadares said that there were no other closures in the area to help reduce any additional impacts to traffic. She also noted that the three-week closure would have less of an impact than more than eight weeks of alternating lane closures backing up traffic through the area.

“Long term, it will be a win for the neighborhood,” she said.

Frontier and CTDOT will use signage, barricades, and some police officers to help alert drivers of the detour. 

Mayor Harry Rilling emphasized that the work would be done within the three-week period and that Frontier would not be back for additional time. 

“This is going to be an extreme inconvenience to the East Norwalk residents,” he said. 

Rilling also asked Police Chief James Walsh if he had any issues with the closure and detours, and Walsh noted that he had “no concerns” with the plan. 

Frontier’s detour plan

East Norwalk Train Station Closure

The East Norwalk Train Station and its parking lots will be closed during the same time: from Monday, March 11, until Sunday, March 31. 

The closure is a part of the Walk Bridge Replacement Project. Crews will be installing a new underdrain system beneath the East Norwalk station parking lot and “the train station and parking lot must be closed to accommodate construction to ensure the safety of the workers,” according to a statement from CTDOT.

Commuters can use the South Norwalk Train Station or the Westport Train Station for service to Grand Central and New Haven. East Norwalk parking permits will be accepted at South Norwalk for no additional charge, but they will not be supported in Westport. 

The Norwalk Transit District will also be providing shuttle service Monday through Friday between the South Norwalk and East Avenue train stations during the weeks of the closure.  

The shuttle will run six times in the morning and eight times in the afternoon/evening. The Norwalk Transit District said that the shuttles will be timed with the Metro North schedule. More information can be found at norwalktransit.com, or by calling 203-859-0000.

Comments

One response to “Portion of East Avenue to Close Along with East Norwalk Train Station”

  1. Bryan Meek

    WTH have they been doing the past three years shutting it down 3-4x a week at nights?

    And how many revisions are we up to now on this plan? Last I checked it was 8.

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