Town Officials Urge State To Delay Route 123 Project Until Spring 2021

Saying they’re concerned about starting a construction project so close to a major holiday as well as the date that asphalt plants shut down for winter, town officials voted Wednesday night to urge the state to put off a bridge replacement along Route 123 to next spring. As it stands, the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s replacement of a box culvert just north of the state road’s intersection of Glen Drive would start Oct. 12 and continue for an estimated three weeks. The work will require closing Route 123 in both directions. 

Yet the contractor on the job has itself asked for a delay because the materials for the culvert now won’t be available until Nov. 2, meaning any bad weather will delay the project into December, according to New Canaan Public Works Director Tiger Mann.

‘Arguably the Worst Road in Town’: Selectmen Approve $758,000  Repaving of Field Crest and Village

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend a contract with a Norwalk-based company for the repaving of two roads in New Canaan that public works officials say need it the most. The $758,000 extension with FGB Construction will is for the paving of Field Crest Road and Village Drive, both located off of Farm Road opposite Saxe Middle School, as well as drainage and sidewalk improvements. 

They’re two of five New Canaan roads—with Brinckerhoff Avenue, Lockwood Avenue and Mortimer Street—that had been scheduled for repaving around the time Eversource brought natural gas to town. So, the work was put off until the utility came through, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. 

The residents of Field Crest and Village who wanted to access natural gas have done so and “they are very much in favor of having this road done, especially considering it was torn up for gas lines and then Aquarion came in and put up an entirely new water main service there,” Mann said. “It is arguably the worst road in town, or one of the worst roads in town, and we would like to complete the work this year,” he said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract extension. Funds are included in the approved paving budget.

First Selectman Pooh-Poohs Wastewater Test for COVID-19 Virus

Days after the mayor of neighboring Stamford issued a warning about the risk of increased COVID-19 virus cases based on a test of the city’s wastewater system, New Canaan’s highest elected official voiced skepticism about the value of such a test here. Addressing the prospect of the test in New Canaan, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said Tuesday, “I am a little skeptical myself about the value of doing that testing.”

“I think the testing of individuals is much more important,” he said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held via videoconference. “The fact that we have tested 4,000 residents in the past 60, 80, 90 days and the fact that also we do not have people claiming that they’re ill. To me that is kind of a very rough test and wouldn’t be that helpful.”

Moynihan added that although he’s read reports that “fecal testing may be more effective with babies,” still “the wastewater is very, very rough kind of test and doesn’t tell you that much.”

The topic was raised by Selectman Kathleen Corbet during a discussion of general matters. She referred to an emergency bulletin from Stamford Mayor David Martin that “a COVID-19 early warning wastewater system detected a potential increase in cases of COVID-19 in Stamford.”

Corbet asked whether such a test would be valuable for New Canaan.