Wilton took a few giant steps forward on the path toward completing the pedestrian walkway bridge that will span the Norwalk River and link the Wilton Train Station to Wilton Center. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the bridge was positioned and set into its concrete footings over the water.

The two halves of the pre-built bridge had arrived just one day before on large semi flat-bed 18-wheelers. Then Wednesday morning a very large crane was trucked in to the train station construction zone to do the heavy lifting. Work crews connected the two bridge sections on the parking lot ground before the crane raised the structure and slowly swung it around to position it on the concrete supports.

The effort gathered several onlookers, including students and teachers from the Wilton Public Schools Genesis Program at the nearby Trackside Teen Center, and town officials and employees. Among them were First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and Frank Smeriglio, Wilton’s Director of Public Works/Town Engineer watching as the project that began 15 years ago was finally making very tangible progress.

 

“It’s gorgeous! Isn’t it a beautiful bridge?” Vanderslice said. She noted that the effort had been started under her predecessor, Bill Brennan, and that she was grateful it was now becoming a reality. “I’ve got to thank all the people from way back before me and Frank, that got this started. We’re just happy we could finish it off.”

Vanderslice was particularly happy for the residents of Station Place, the senior housing apartments nearby on Station Rd., knowing that the bridge will make it much easier for them to go back and forth to Wilton Center.

“People who live near the train station, they’re thrilled. I think this will really make a difference,” she said. “People can just come off the NRVT trail and go wherever you want. Neighbors that live on Rte. 7 can much more easily get into town by bike or walking. It just makes the town more accessible.”

People watching the installation were impressed by the engineering behind the bridge, which had been built off-site using weathered steel, and (thankfully) it fit precisely as planned.

“It’s definitely exciting watching as an engineer, seeing it done. And it has such value, more parking for town, value for Merwin Meadows parking. It’s just really good,” Smeriglio said.

Vanderslice was excited for another reason — it came at no direct cost to the town.

“The taxpayers of Wilton didn’t pay for it in their property taxes. It may have been paid for from their state income taxes but so did every other resident of Connecticut. So it’s nice to have some of that money back,” she said.

“This is really municipal government at work. I think it’s great.”

The bridge won’t be completed for yet another few months. Crews still need to build the ramps that will make it accessible on both sides, before the construction zone can be cleared and lighting and landscaping installed.

3 replies on “Only on GMW: Town Sees ‘Uplifting’ News on Pedestrian Bridge Progress [Video]”

  1. Tangibly beneficial public works- what a concept! Kudos to all at Town Hall (Present and past), NRVT supporters, and the crews that are finally making this missing link of connectivity possible. With vision and determination, Wilton can become the functional, active, and beautiful community we can all be proud of.

    1. You’re completely right! Kids of ALL ages will love it! Recording it, I felt like it must have felt watching one of the historic buildings wheeled up Danbury Rd. when they were relocated. Someday, I’ll tell my grandkids, “I was there when they lifted this bridge in the air to install it.”

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