Public Works Seeks To Start West Road Bridge Replacement This Winter

Saying it will save money and hassle, Public Works officials on Monday spoke in favor of starting a long-planned bridge replacement on West Road this winter so it’s spaced out from a separate major road project across town. 

The contractor for the West Road job has a gap in their schedule and has agreed to absorb significant winter costs such as heating concrete in order to start prep work in mid-December, according to Joe Zagarenski, senior engineer in the New Canaan Department of Public Works. That would see the work wrap up some time in June, Zagarenski said, around the time the replacement of a bridge on Route 123 that will close traffic in both directions hopefully would start. “It would be nice if we did not have two detours in town at the same time, even though they may overlap a little bit,” he told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, held via videoconference. The headwall of a bridge on West Road north of Turtle Back Road failed two summers ago. Officials have estimated in the past that New Canaan is expected to pay about $921,000 toward the total $1.8 million cost to replace the bridge.

Library: Rebuilding Project on Track for Spring As Parking Plan, Schematic Design Get Finalized 

The timetable for municipal approvals of the widely anticipated New Canaan Library rebuilding project has been pushed back a bit pending details around parking and specifics of financials, the town’s highest elected official said this week. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said Tuesday that he had anticipated the library coming to the Board of Finance this week “with further financial information, but they are waiting for pricing estimates on their project.”

“The Board of Finance has made clear that they want much more specific numbers before they can move forward,” Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, held via videoconference. “The Town Council has made clear that they want to see what is going to Planning & Zoning, which now has slipped a bit to the end of November, apparently.”

The $36 million rebuilding of New Canaan Library is still expected to commence next spring and construction will continue for about two years, the library’s executive director, Lisa Oldham, confirmed when asked about the project. Under a draft Memorandum of Understanding or ‘MOU’ with the town that’s been under negotiation since early this year, the town is to contribute $10 million toward the project while the library bears the balance of the cost through its own fundraising and a $15 million commercial construction loan from Bankwell, documents show. Moynihan said that parking is among the key pieces of the MOU.

Town: DOT Postpones Project That Will Close Route 123 for Three Weeks

A plan to close Route 123 in New Canaan in both directions starting this week for a construction project has been put off until spring, officials say. Local officials last month urged the Connecticut Department of Transportation to put off its plan to replace a box culvert near the New Canaan Field Club. The work was to start this week and would’ve seen motor vehicle traffic detoured around the heavily used state road for 21 days. During a meeting Tuesday morning, Public Works Director Tiger Mann said, “It is not official yet, but I heard from the contractor this morning, that that will be postponed at least until the spring.”

“The DOT has cancelled all progress meetings between now and then,” Mann said during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, held via videoconference. “The contractor had written a letter asking for it to be delayed.

Moynihan: Storm Reveals ‘Fragility’ of New Canaan’s Communications Systems

New Canaan’s highest elected official said Monday that the town is learning much about “the fragility of our communication systems” following a storm that’s knocked out power for thousands of households for several days. Officials are learning about both cell service and Optimum Internet access, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure. “Because I didn’t realize that the Locust Avenue building doesn’t have emergency power, so the Verizon tower was out, and then the AT&T tower was out at the Country Club,” Moynihan said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “Besides the fact that most people  have Optimum out. So that has been eye-opening as to what we have to try to do to improve the stability of our communications during emergencies.”

The comments came as New Canaan slowly regained power following an Aug.

Public Works Provides Update on Natural Gas-Related Repaving in New Canaan

State officials are demanding that the utility company bringing natural gas into New Canaan repave Route 106 from Farm Road to Bank Street by Aug. 15, officials say. The Connecticut Department of Transportation also may call for the repaving of South Avenue—which doubles as state Route 124—into downtown New Canaan at any point where the road has been dug up for gas service lines to run to residences, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “We are hoping to have all paving done on an Eversource basis prior to the start of the school year,” Mann told members of an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen. “Eversource has yet to come back into town to do any additional work as far as our expansion is concerned,” Mann said Monday during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings & Infrastructure, held via videoconference. 

“They are starting with the thought to do all the services on the state route on Old Stamford Road—you have got nine to do there—and then at that point in time, we have repeatedly asked them to come and take care of Field Crest [Road] and Village [Drive].