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Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Station on Track for October Opening

New Station on Track 
for October Opening:
Platforms and pedestrian 
crossover essentially completed
By Mike Lauterborn
(Posted to 5/12)
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – A project years in the planning, Fairfield’s third train station, along Commerce Drive, is finally nearing completion. Both north and south going platforms, with covered waiting shelters, as well as a pedestrian crossover from north to south sides, are, for the better part, complete.

Keith Shove, a Metro North conductor, who was onsite on a recent sunny Tuesday morning, provided a quick update on remaining work on the site. “With regard to the platforms and crossover, we’re just going through a punch list, with paint touch-up, hand railings, etc. to be done. Then the state will sign off.”

As to the parking lot, for which a crushed rock base had been put down, Shove said it would be completed by October, if not sooner, and “as soon as people have a place to park, the station will be open.”

Meanwhile, crews are finishing the main roadways in and out of the site, drainage is in, contaminated soil has been capped, and the main contractor, Guerrera Construction, is ahead of schedule with building the ticket station.

He added, “The vendor slots for the ticket station are all sold out as are the parking spaces. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state grab up more land, especially for parking.”

As to surrounding property, Shove said values have gone very high and adjacent land owners have been toying with putting in parking garages and retail attractions.

Shove said one immediate neighbor, Bigelow Tea, which owns a building to the east of the station, is “not happy about the project as they’ll need to put up fences and a security shack to keep commuters from parking in their lot.”

Destructive teens have been another issue, as evidenced by graffiti tags on platform walls. “The building material is pre-cast concrete and it’s going to cost about $4,000 to remove the graffiti,” he said.

“All in all, though, for a large construction site like this, problems have been few,” said Shove, summing up.

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