Pedestrian bridge hits permit delay

The project to build a pedestrian bridge to connect the train station with Wilton Center won’t begin construction this spring, or perhaps even this summer.
The plans for the footbridge are being held up at the state Department of Transportation level, awaiting permits from various state agencies that rule over the train station land and the Norwalk River, which the bridge must span, said Robert Nerney, the town’s planning director.
“We’re not sure when it is going to be built — we are hopeful it will be summer or fall,” Nerney said, adding it is all contingent on getting the necessary permits. “Construction will be easier than the permitting process,” he said.
The idea is to create a walkway that would go from the westerly parking lot of the train station, have a bridge with a 90-foot span to cross the river and floodplain, and connect to the existing pathway that would be improved to provide pedestrian access into the town center.
Instead of pedestrians getting off the train and walking up Station Road to Route 7, and then crossing the busy intersection of Ridgefield Road, the pedestrian bridge would cut walking time.
The Inland Wetlands Commission gave its unanimous approval for the project during a meeting on Sept. 8.
“It’s an impressive project,” said board member Dan Falta at that time, speaking of the bridge to be built with a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant. The vote followed months of red tape delaying the project.
The STEAP grants are intended to improve communities, rebuild infrastructure and create jobs, Gov. Dannel Malloy said in 2014 when announcing the grant.