Work on the railroad crossing on Talmadge Hill Road next to the train station there will shut the street for traffic at that spot from Friday, Aug. 14 through Thursday, Aug. 20, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced. The street is expected to be closed at that point starting at 10 am.. on Friday, and not expected to reopen until 4 p.m. the following Thursday, the department announced.
Though it’s not planned just now, state officials say a canopy will be installed on the platform at Talmadge Hill Station along Metro-North Railroad’s New Canaan branch line. Following a press conference Tuesday with the governor at Springdale station, NewCanaanite.com asked Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker about the canopy at Talmadge Hill—a project that was to have been completed 10 years ago. “Right now it’s not programmed for an investment,” Redeker said from the platform at Sprindale. “You can see here we actually installed these canopies this past year, platform extensions. So we believe as part of this line upgrade we should have all those canopies done and we should upgrade all of our stations in addition to taking a look at parking expansion.”
The Talmadge Hill station has only a few scattered weather shelters, but not a canopy—the responsibility of the state, as per New Canaan’s lease with the DOT.
The state still hasn’t acknowledged or responded to a letter sent this summer by New Canaan’s highest elected official—a call to install a ticket kiosk and canopy at the Talmadge Hill rail platform, a nearly two-decades-old effort. According to First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, the Connecticut Department of Transportation hasn’t indicated either way whether the state agency would “spend any time in review of what the necessities are for that platform.”
“It’s just disappointing,” Mallozzi said. “The fact is I was following up on something that this town has had an interest in since 1995,” the first selectman said. “And when the first selectman cannot get a response from an agency, it’s extremely disappointing. And I feel bad for our commuters, who seek my assistance in helping to get something done.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi at Talmadge Hill Station
Calling the Talmadge Hill train station inadequate in that it has no ticket kiosk or canopy that runs along the platform to provide shelter for rail riders, New Canaan’s highest elected official is calling for the state to address the problem. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he’s seen correspondence on the subject from the Connecticut Department of Transportation going back nearly 20 years. “As I understand it, Talmadge Hill station may be the only station on the branch line without a weather canopy,” Mallozzi said in a letter sent Aug. 14 to the DOT public transportation bureau’s rail administrator. “The station serves as the main departure and terminus for some 275 permit holders as well as 120 daily members of the commuting public.
Town officials plan to get permits this year for a widely anticipated project to replace Jelliff Mill Bridge, with work starting as early as next spring—though it hasn’t yet been determined whether one lane or two will be closed for two years of construction. The bridge over the Noroton River, just south of Jelliff Mill Pond, is “scour critical,” according to Department of Public Works Assistant Director Tiger Mann. A center pier is susceptible to erosion, which eventually can compromise the integrity of the bridge, and its “corrugated metal pipe culverts are rotted and do not have a bottom,” Mann said. As of now, officials plan to keep one lane of the bridge open while it’s being replaced, with a target start date of April, Mann said. (Once the town obtains permits, the project can go out to bid.)
Though they’re leaning that way now, officials also haven’t ruled out that the entire bridge could be closed for the length of the project.