The second aspect of $48-million renovation of the town’s sewer system — closing of the District Two sewage treatment plant off Route 7, and construction of a pumping station and pipeline to get that wastewater to the District One plant off South Street — will come up for comment at the end of the month.
A public hearing on the project has been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 in the town hall annex. The hearing will be before the Planning and Zoning Commission, which approved the first phase of the project — upgrading the District One sewer plant off South Street — in late May.
“The Town of Ridgefield operates two wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs), the South Street WWTF which serves Sewer District One and the Route 7 WWTF which serves Sewer District Two,” says a cover letter on the application from Jon Pearson of AECOM, the sewer engineering firm working with the town.
“Under the first construction contract the South Street wastewater treatment facility will be upgraded to rehabilitate or replace existing facilities and systems, and to provide new treatment systems and structures.”This is the project approved in May.“Under the second contract the existing Route 7 WWTF will be demolished and a new force main and replacement pump station will be constructed to convey the District Two wastewater flows that are currently directed to the Route 7 WWTF to the South Street WWTF.”
“The existing Route 7 pump station will be completely demolished and a new pump station will be constructed in the same location,” the letter from AECOM’s Pearson says.
“...The Sewer District Two flows that were previously conveyed from the existing pump station to the Route 7 WWTF will be conveyed to the South Street WWTF through a new 14,150-foot-long, eight-inch diameter force main,” the sewer engineers say. “The route of the force main will be along Route 7 to Haviland Road, to Limekiln Road, to Lee Road, to Farmigville Road, to Ligi’s Way, and finally to South Street.”
A schedule for the project envisions it going out to bid in the fall of 2020, and construction running from January 2021 to March 2022.
Highlighting “specific concerns and issues” the letter from AECOM notes that “temporary pumping and power systems” will be required during demolition and reconstruction of the pump station.There will also be an effort to limit the “visual impacts” of the new pump station.
“The existing Route 7 pump station is mostly out of sight” with many facilities below grade, Pearson says.
“However, due to the new resiliency standards adopted by DEEP, a number of the replacement structures will be located above grade to an elevation of three feet above the FEMA 100-year floor elevation.”
Steps planned to limit the visual impact include a green vinyl fence on three sides — the east side facing Route 7 and the adjacent north and south sides of the pump station — to create a “visual barrier.” There will also be “an earthen berm/mound, visual barrier plantings” and “ornamental plantings” on the east side, shielding view of the pump station from Route 7.
Pearson of AECOM also says that “after consultation with the owners of the adjacent land parcel at 901 Ethan Allen Highway, and with all parties in agreement, the project proposed to narrow the 901 Ethan Allen driveway … to provide additional land between the pump station parcel and 901 Ethan Allen Highway,” giving the private property owner room for “future landscape plantings” to create “an improved visual barrier to the pump station without impacting the access to the pump station.”
Stroffolino Bridge in Norwalk to close for construction
NORWALK — The Stroffolino Bridge will be closed for construction for part of this week.
The bridge will be shut down from 9 a.m. Tuesday through 9 a.m. Thursday, the city tweeted.
Detours will be in place.“Please drive slowly and anticipate delays,” the city said.Some lanes have been closed on the bridge during non-peak hours since April when upgrades to the structure began. Construction is expected to run until at least mid-November, state Department of Transportation officials said in April. The department had said then that the bridge would need to fully close for major mechanical upgrades, which would be done during the nighttime for a few weeks sometime after Oct. 1.The bridge’s steel, concrete and fender system are being repaired, while a new wearing surface is being installed as part of the project.
Winsted approves Hinsdale school renovations
WINSTED — Voters have backed the plan to renovate the Mary P. Hinsdale Elementary School.
Residents narrowly approved the $17.43 million project in a 780-669 vote in Saturday’s referendum, the Republican American reported. The town expects to receive about $7 million in state grants to offset costs.
The school, which serves students in pre-kindergarten through second grade, was closed in 2016 during the tenure of state Receiver Robert Travaglini.But officials supported re-opening the school, instead of renovating Batcheller Elementary School, with Superintendent of Schools Melony Brady-Shanley noting in April that Hinsdale is more structurally sound and in a preferable location.
The plan includes adding a new play area and 7,700 square feet of new classroom space, removing an original portion of the building to eliminate the culvert that currently runs under the school, replacing sidewalks, paving, curbing, ceilings and floors that are in poor condition.
Brady-Shanley said in April that, while Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan believes “very strongly” that the town will win the suit, the case could require “serious reworking of the site plan.”
Nelligan claimed in a special defense filed in May that the suit has “no factual basis” and is an improper use of the legal process, brought to gain leverage during ongoing contractual negotiations and damage the town financially when it seeks money to renovate the Hinsdale building.
The W.L. Gilbert Trust filed a request on Aug. 19 asking that the town revise its counterclaim, asking repeatedly that Nelligan consider “the deletion of unnecessary, repetitious, scandalous, impertinent, immaterial or otherwise improper allegations” and further specify other claims to allow for a response.
Stonington sewer repairs estimated to cost over $2.9 million
Stonington — Water Pollution Control Authority Director Douglas Nettleton told the Board of Finance this week that badly needed repairs and replacement of equipment at the town sewer pumping station and plants could cost more than $2.9 million.
Nettleton's report came after finance board member Lynn Young, during discussions about possibly bonding for new sidewalks and school repairs at a recent meeting, suggested the board also consider adding in sewer system repairs.
Nettleton told the board that while he was asked to estimate sewer-related capital improvement spending over the next three to five years, many of the repairs are critical and need to be done now.
He pointed out that the almost $3 million cost is over and above the $2.5 million being spent in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 budgets to divert sewage from the overburdened Mystic treatment plant to the underused borough plant and any work that may be required as a result of an inflow and infiltration study set to begin this fall, which will identify additional sources of water that is getting into the sewer system.
Nettleton told the board that many of the town's 16 pump stations are in "dire straits."
"It's got to the point where we can't look the other way anymore," he said. "Some of them are in pretty tough shape."
For example, Nettleton said he can't service the two pumps in the station along River Road in Pawcatuck because if he removes one from service and the other breaks down, he does not have a third pump as a backup. In addition, he said it would take 16 weeks to order a new one and have it delivered.
"This is so bad. It's what keeps people up at night," he said. "It's a big deal not to have a spare pump."
Board member Tim O'Brien told Nettleton that his report "allows us to see the scope of magnitude of what we are facing."
Nettleton now will fine-tune some of the cost estimates while the finance board will discuss how it might fund the work, whether through bonding, allocations in upcoming budgets or using some of the town's undesignated surplus.
UHart’s biz school debuts $5M expansion
The University of Hartford this week unveiled a new state-of-the-art learning and collaboration space at the Barney School of Business.
The 10,000-square-foot addition, and additional 13,000 square feet of renovated space at the university’s Auerbach Hall, cost $5 million and was completed over the course of a year.
The addition was designed by Glastonbury-based SLAM Collaborative and was built by Shawmut Design & Construction of Boston.
“The new addition provides ample opportunities for active learning and innovative teaching,” Barney Dean Amy Zeng said in a statement.
Zeng noted that the facility’s Lincoln trading room and analytics lab simulates the stock market, complete with 12 Bloomberg terminals, which enable students to learn how to analyze large financial datasets. Another two classrooms will support Barney’s expansion of project-based learning.