The first meeting of a Stakeholder Information Session on the Ash Creek Pedestrian Bridge Feasibility Study was held on February 5, 2013. The Ash Creek Street pedestrian bridge would be an exciting development as it would create a more direct access to the train station from the southwestern section of Black Rock. The Fairfield Metro train station would be within walking distance for many more Black Rockers as they could cross Ash Creek, ideally at the end of Fox Street, although there are two other options in the study.
The concept of a pedestrian bridge over the Ash Creek linking the City of Bridgeport and the town of Fairfield has the support of both municipalities and has been identified as an action to promote sustainability goals and foster the conversion of the area as a transit oriented, mixed use district. The city of Bridgeport has applied for federal assistance under the Surface Transportation Program: Bridgeport-Stamford Urban Area account (STPB) to conduct a planning and feasibility study for the pedestrian bridge and walkway. The intent of the study will be to assess environmental impacts, prepare mapping, determine structure type, identify environmental permits, coordinate location of walkway and bridge with town of Fairfield and Metro-Center developer and incorporate alignment into development plans, prepare a preliminary concept, implementation and execution plan for the bridge and walkway and estimate construction costs.
Mr. David Kooris, Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Bridgeport welcomed all attendees to the outreach meeting and provided some background to the project. Mr. Mark Nielson of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council (GRBC) elaborated on the project background, goals, and objectives and the status of the project
The project team consists of Alfred Benesch & Company (Prime) supported by TPA Design Group and GZA GeoEnvironmental. The project is in initial stagess as the data collection phase is just wrapping up. Three options will be considered for pedestrian traffic including installing bridges at at Fox Street or Davidson Street as well as using the existing Brewster Street bridge. Options will be evaluated based on cost, hydraulic and environmental impacts, property impacts, and improvement for non-motorized travel, including pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Three types of bridge structures will be evaluated. The feasibility project is expected to be completed by the end of July. The actual bridge itself is 3-5 years away even if all goes well.
Other attendees at the meeting included: Phil Blagys of the Black Rock Community Council, Sue Brannelly of the 130th Council District, Steve Curtin of Black Rock Realty, Joe Formato (who initiated the idea), Joe Ianniello of the Black Rock NRZ, Annette Jacobson of the Town of Fairfied Conservation Department, Gail Robinson of the Ash Creek Conservation Association, Angie Staltaro, of the City of Bridgeport's Black Rock NRZ, Steve Tyliszcyak of the City of Bridgeport OPED, Adam Wood of the City of Bridgeport Mayor's Office. It should be noted that our State Representative Auden Grogins has played a mayor role in moving this project forward.
For more details on the progress of the project visit www.gbrct.org