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Rowayton Demands More Details on Bridge Project

Norwalk's Sixth Taxing District commissioners want answers from the city on how much land, trees and train station parking will be lost to the Rowayton Avenue Bridge project.

"We're not opposed to the project — we desperately need a better way to get from one side of the track to the other," Commissioner Mike Barbis said Tuesday. "But we need to get it right."

Now that the bridge has been renovated, the next phase of the project calls for improved access to the train station, including a five-foot wide sidewalk along the roadway under the bridge.

The three commissioners delivered a formal letter to principal engineer Richard Linnartz last week, asking him to meet with them. As of Tuesday afternoon, they had not received a response.

Hal Alvord, Norwalk director of public works, said Tuesday his team was gathering the information the Rowayton commissioners sought and was having engineers call neighbors to explain the project.

He said the city has been forthcoming with information throughout the project and that any perception to the contrary was likely due to the fact that the project had been in development for years. "People tend to lose sight of the details," Alvord said.

Tempers flared at a recent public meeting held by the Department of Public Works, when documents provided by the city seemed to show that the amount of private property that would have to be taken was larger than they had understood from prior information, and the loss of train station parking spaces greater. The station has about 300 spaces currently.

"We're particularly concerned about that," said Barbis. "We should be adding parking, not losing it." Residents had thought only one or two spaces would be lost, but the documentation provided at the public meeting seems to indicate a loss of seven to nine spaces, said Sixth Taxing District Commission Chair Tammy Langalis.

The documents also appeared to show that a stand of pine trees that shield a neighboring house from the train station would have to come down, leaving the station in plain sight from the house.

What do you think of the possible loss of parking at the Rowayton train station? Please leave a comment below.

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