The following article is from the constituent email newsletter from Wilton’s Gail Lavielle, our state representative. 

I’m sure many of you have noticed that the installation of lighting in the Wilton Station parking lot has not been completed. Since the fall of 2012, when a constituent brought the lack of adequate lighting in the parking lot to my attention, Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan and I have been working on the matter with the state DOT, which began the installation last year.

Although the DOT committed to completing the work by the end of 2013, it is still not finished. I have been concerned about the lack of progress and have recently received a response to my inquiries about plans for completing the project from the DOT’s Office of Rail Construction:

“This project is currently in a winter shut down period. The first portion of the project work involves saw cutting the bituminous parking lot, trench excavation to install conduits, etc., then repaving trenches. This work cannot commence until asphalt plants are opened, unusually no earlier than April 1, AND paving conditions are favorable and in compliance to spec — minimum 40F surface and air temperature. 

“We do not anticipate seeing any construction activity until late March at best.  Once the contractor begins work, it should be done in two months.  We would hope for all to be lit up by June 2014.”

I will continue to follow this project with the DOT.

Early-Morning Through-Train Service

In February, I circulated a petition in response to many commuter requests to restore through service to the first weekday southbound Danbury Line train, which leaves Danbury at 5:36 a.m.. I had the chance to visit with many of you while riding the morning southbound trains and to experience the delays and other problems that you have to deal with every single day. Many of these have arisen from the problems with the new signal system, while others stem from the general decline in service quality that has been developing throughout the entire Metro-North system. Restoring through service on the first morning train would of course not solve those problems, but many of you have told me that it would at least make your commute less chaotic and allow you to arrive a little earlier at work.

I brought the petition, with more than 200 signatures, to the February Metro-North Commuter Speakout in Southport, and I also formally submitted it to DOT Commissioner James Redeker and Metro-North’s new president, Joe Giulietti.

I received Mr. Giulietti’s response last week after meeting him in Hartford. His letter explains that a review of the entire New Haven Line schedule is in progress, and that because of the high demand from Danbury Line customers, Metro-North is considering restoration of through service on the first train from Danbury as part of that review. The letter makes no firm promise, but it does clearly acknowledge the need and open a dialogue.

Click here to read Joe Giulietti’s letter.

I will continue to follow both the schedule changes and the Danbury Line signal system issues closely with Mr. Giulietti and Commissioner Redeker and keep you informed about any developments.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me about these or any other issues. I am always happy to hear from you.

Gail Lavielle (R-143) represents Norwalk, Westport and Wilton.