Construction starts on Wilton Center pedestrian bridge – The Wilton Bulletin

Construction starts on Wilton Center pedestrian bridge  The Wilton Bulletin

The design for the proposed Wilton Center/Train Station pedestrian bridge, left. Streetscape improvements, right, were completed in Wilton Center in 2016.

Contributed Photo

WILTON — The town will soon have a connective tissue between the Metro North train station and Wilton Center with the construction for the long-anticipated pedestrian bridge starting this week.

“The pedestrian bridge project consists of building a bridge connecting the Wilton Train Station on Station Road to the Norwalk River Valley Trail on the opposite side of the river and improvements to the NRVT leading into Wilton Center,” the town said in a release. “The first task involves removing trees within the project limits. Then, the contractor will proceed with bridge foundation work.”

The project is expected to bring more walkability to the downtown area and look to boost the number of pedestrians shopping and eating in Wilton Center, especially by attracting those who may travel to Wilton by train. The benefits of the project fall in lockstep with that of the Wilton Center Master Plan subcomittee, which is currently planning the future of Wilton’s downtown.

Director of Public Works Head Frank Smeriglio said in June that the goal was to “get out of the ground” this summer, giving the project ample time before halting construction during winter weather. It is anticipated that work will continue through the fall and be completed next spring, according to the town.

“Once completed, the bridge is expected to facilitate residential development within and around the train station, commuter access to residences or shops in the center and access to the NRVT for bikers, walkers and runners residing on the opposite side of the river or arriving by train,” the town said.

The town received a $1.4 million dollar grant from the state through a Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program grant. Earlier this summer, the town entered into contracts with both Dayton Construction and Tighe and Bond to oversee the project.

Dayton, who will oversee the construction, will be paid $1.18 million. Tighe and Bond’s contract totals nearly $121,000.

Smeriglio said it will feature handicap accessible ramps on both sides, have lighting for commuters returning home and pedestrians walking at night, and will be 10 feet wide. It will stretch from the train station to Merwin Meadows, across the Norwalk River.

A section of the NRVT will be closed from behind Red Rooster Pub to the backside of the Merwin Meadows Park soccer field during construction. The town did say that it will make efforts to open a five-foot wide trail after work hours and on weekends for trail users.

The overflow parking lot on the west side of the train tracks will be closed throughout the duration of the project, the town said.