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Fairfield Metro Center Nearly Finalized

Pending a few agreements with the state and UI, the town's third train station is ready to open Dec. 5 -- First Selectman Michael Tetreau updated the RTM on a few key areas.

 

The is coming to a close -- most of it, anyway.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau, with the help of Director of Community and Economic Development , updated members of the 2011-2013 on the status of the project, which is more than 10 years in the making.

Paperwork

The station is still set for a , and the First Selectman’s Office announced Monday that a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 2. But Tetreau cautioned that both these dates are contingent upon completing agreements with the state and United Illuminating.

The agreement for up to $3 million in reimbursement from the state for parking lot and road construction is being finalized, Tetreau said. He told the RTM he spent part of Monday in Newington discussing the agreement with state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”

If that draft does not change, he believes the agreement will be finalized later this week and ready for the Board of Selectmen’s review.

“We are to be reimbursed for actual costs incurred in building the parking lot and roadway, not to exceed $3 million,” Barnhart said of the agreement.

The easement and project agreement in the UI is in the same stage, Tetreau said. That agreement must be finalized before UI energizes the lines for the train tracks, he added. Should those agreements come back to him within the next two to three days, the station will be on schedule to open Dec. 5.

Tetreau also said that the town would not transfer the parking lot to the state until the $3 million grant is finalized.

Cost Overruns

Another update the First Selectman provided was the decision to dip into the contingency funds to bulk up some of the project’s budgets in which cost overruns were anticipated.

The $1 million in contingency was reduced to $600,000; the $400,000 difference is set aside in case the excess soil disposal, wrap-up of construction, and inspection and engineering go over budget, Tetreau said.

None of that $400,000 has been spent yet, Barnhart added. However, half of the excess soil disposal budget has been spent, and yet 10,000 cubic yards still remain on the lot.

Barnhart said that much of the soil had been subject to on-site consolidation but that option has been exhausted; the town must now look to off-site disposal of the rest of the soil, which is the more expensive course of action.

The anticipated overruns in the engineering and inspection portion of the project are just small costs, Barnhart said. Extra costs may accrue for construction due to the state’s demand that the project finish within its timeframe, which accelerated construction, Barnhart said.

Following completion of the project’s construction and the station’s opening, Tetreau said there would still be several closeout reports to publish. Those include a Post Remediation Report (slated for January 2012), a DOT Project Close-Out (February 2012), and an Inlands Wetlands Permit Application Close-Out report (January 2012).

If you currently hold a six-month permit for the downtown station and you haven’t renewed it yet, Chair Mary Kay Frost said you have just a few days to do so before getting a ticket.

Frost said a letter was sent out earlier this year urging six-month permit holders to either renew their permits for June or elect to obtain a permit for the Metro Center before the opening of the Metro Center or Dec. 31, whichever date came first.

With the opening of the station slated for Monday, the day ticketing begins for expired permits is imminent.

Of the 375 people who hold six-month permits, Frost said 50 still are not accounted for, and the letter had an Oct. 24 deadline to renew or move to the Metro Center.

“They neither told the DOT or FUSCO that they wanted to move to the Metro Center or told us that they wanted to stay downtown,” Frost said.

And if you did renew your permit, don’t forget to put it in the window prior to Dec. 5, she added.

Fairfield Resident December 02, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Thank you for the follow-up Caitlin. If you want, I can take a picture of the car with the sign in it on Monday and e-mail it to you.
Fairfield Resident December 02, 2011 at 03:16 PM
I concur! Caitlin is awesome (and cute too)....
Caitlin Mazzola December 02, 2011 at 05:57 PM
@Peter Starett -- Thank you for your kind comment and input. @Fairfield Resident -- Thank you as well, and yes, please email me the photo of the conductor's parking "pass." That will definitely be helpful! I'll find out what I can.
Fairfield Resident December 02, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Will Do!
Kimberly Hill December 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
As far as overpasses, Fairfield Metro isn’t the only station with just one overpass As far as coffee, I grab my coffee on the way to the station so I am set. As far as lack of restrooms; I go to the rest room at home and will go at work when I get there. If god forbid I can't wait, there are restrooms on the train. I am so happy not to have to deal anymore with the cluster otherwise known as the downtown Fairfield station. The hassle to park if you don’t have a permit and the mean and nasty pretend cops who are in the parking lot “directing” cars; what a nightmare. Sure the station isn't perfect and maybe things could have been done better. However, I am just happy to have a new station and a permit to park in it. Having parked here for a year now I still have no complaints. It’s nice cause I always get on in the am to practically an empty train, the platforms are long so I never have to worry what car I’m in for exciting cause all doors open at Metro and it’s a nice station.

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