NORWALK, Conn. -- The state is considering taking over the IMAX Theater at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk – and possibly knocking it down –in order to facilitate the replacement of the 120-year-old walk bridge over the Norwalk River, according to the Hour.
Department of Transportation officials told the Hour that no decisions have been made yet, but that they are considering the possibility of taking the property in order to complete the project. The aquarium and the theater, which are in close proximity to the bridge, are owned by the city.
Built in 1896, the walk bridge over the Norwalk River swings open to allow marine traffic through. The bridge has had a number of problems in the past couple years, getting stuck and causing delays and impacting train traffic up and down the east coast. In 2014 the state announced it would replace the bridge, with an eye on completing the project by 2020.
A spokesperson for the Maritime Aquarium said that aquarium officials know that the project will impact the aquarium, and are making preparations on how to deal with that impact, the Hour reported. He would not speculate to the Hour on whether the state would end up taking over the IMAX Theater in order to complete the project.
The Hour reported that the state released a list in September of 17 properties near the walk bridge that are being considered for temporary or permanent easement in order to complete the project. Though the theater was not on the list, a person speaking on conditions of anonymity told the Hour that the Department of Transportation is interested in the property and is in negotiations on taking it.
The six-story IMAX screen at the Maritime Aquarium is the largest in the state. In addition to screening IMAX films and documentaries, the theater also plays Hollywood blockbusters and is used for lectures and special events.
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