Wilton Center pedestrian bridge next grant-funded project to be built

WILTON — The town’s next major grant-funded project will be the pedestrian foot bridge set to span from the Wilton Train Station over the Norwalk River to Merwin Meadows Park, giving the town greater connectivity to Wilton Center.

“We are very close to getting authorization” for “getting that out bid,” Smeriglio said of the pedestrian bridge, which will be funded by a $1.4 million Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program grant. According to the town engineer, the design is complete and construction is slated to start in 2022.

Town officials discussed the status of numerous grants Monday totaling over $19 million, expected to be used for other bridges and trails in the coming years.

Assistant Director of Public Works and Town Engineer Frank Smeriglio outlined the status of nine grants — eight that have either been accepted this year or in prior years, and one that is pending.

Each grant is earmarked to aid in the construction cost of bridge or trail renovations. There are no bridges that must be completely demolished and rebuilt, Smeriglio said.

The grant tied to a project nearing completion is the $1.2 million DEEP grant approved in 2018 for the Wil Walk section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail. The project began this year and the designs were “paid for by the friends of NRVT,” Smeriglio said Monday. The project is expected to be completed in January 2022.

Another foot bridge is expected to start construction in 2023, per the town, to the tune of $3.6 million on Arrowhead Road just off of Danbury Road. Of the estimated cost, the grant approved in 2019 for the project will cover just under $2.9 million.

The grant that received the most recent approval is for the Wilton Loop North section of the NRVT trail approved by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments in November.

“We’ll be heavily involved” in extending the trail roughly one mile north when construction starts, Smeriglio told the selectmen.

One of the grants encompasses the construction cost of five separate bridge repairs — the Old Mill Road Bridge, Old Ridgefield Road Bridge, Middlebrook Farm Road Bridge, River Gate Drive Bridge and Seeley Road Bridge.

All five bridge repairs are estimated to cost roughly $2.1 million. The LOTCIP grant will cover $1.8 million of that total.

On Monday, the contractor hired to do those repairs, WMC Engineers, was approved unanimously by the BOS, which featured its two newest members Kim Healy and Bas Nabulsi.

“Yes,” Vanderslice said. “We definitely see them.”