Gas and water pipeline project to begin in Wilton

WILTON — Aquarion Water and Eversource Energy are beginning construction this month on 1.8 miles of new water pipeline and two miles of new gas pipeline between New Canaan and Wilton.

Both pipelines will run along Route 106/New Canaan Road from Old Kings Highway to Belden Hill Road. The joint project is expected to be completed by December.

Two miles of 16-inch gas pipeline will be installed along Route 106 between Wilton and neighboring New Canaan. Eversource Senior Project Manager Ken Zembrzuski said the company has invested $9 million into the project.

He said the pipeline is vital to strengthening and protecting the natural gas distribution system, “particularly as the demand for natural gas increases.”

Aquarion Water is choosing to “strengthen the resiliency” of the existing Southwest Regional Pipeline by adding another parallel pipeline. The Wilton phase of the project will start at the Belden Hill water tanks. Work will then “proceed approximately 1.8 miles southwest to the New Canaan town line at the Silvermine River,” according to Project Manager Dennis Fields. Future work may be done in New Canaan to extend the pipe further southwest through the town.

Burns Construction was awarded the contract for the project and three crews from the firm will complete the work.

Wilton Coordinator of Community Affairs Sarah Gioffre reiterated that this is a “year-long project” and that various town officials, including Town Planner Michael Wrinn, Wilton Police Lt. Dave Hartman and Department of Public Works Director Frank Smeriglio, have been working with Aquarion and Eversource since last year to iron out specifics.

Route 106/New Canaan Road is a state-owned road, therefore all work is officially authorized by the state.

However, town officials are requiring Aquarion and Eversource to inform residents who live along New Canaan Road and its adjacent streets about the project. The companies must also, per Gioffre, send updates to local media and keep a section of their websites dedicated to the project and provide updates as they come.

There will be a detour down Old Boston Road and Beldin Hill Road, connected by Seir Hill, during the working hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. All school bus stops will remain at their current locations. The roadway will not be closed to school buses and emergency vehicles, but all other vehicular traffic must follow the detour routes.

Gioffre also notes that residents should be given ample opportunity to have their voices heard. She is encouraging residents to send comments to Fields at dfields@aquarionwater.com or Zembrzuski at kenneth.zembrzuski@eversource.com. All public comment will accepted through May 1.