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View Finder: New Station on Track for October Opening

Platforms and pedestrian crossover essentially completed

A project years in the planning, Fairfield’s third train station, along Commerce Drive, is finally nearing completion. Both north- and south-going platforms, with covered waiting shelters, as well as a pedestrian crossover from north to south sides, are, for the better part, complete.

Keith Shove, a Metro North conductor, who was onsite on a recent sunny Tuesday morning, provided a quick update on remaining work on the site. “With regard to the platforms and crossover, we’re just going through a punch list, with paint touch-up, hand railings, etc. to be done. Then the state will sign off.”

As to the parking lot, for which a crushed rock base had been put down, Shove said it would be completed by October, if not sooner, and “as soon as people have a place to park, the station will be open.”

Meanwhile, crews are finishing the main roadways in and out of the site, drainage is in, contaminated soil has been capped, and the main contractor, Guerrera Construction, is ahead of schedule with building the ticket station.

He added, “The vendor slots for the ticket station are all sold out as are the parking spaces. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state grab up more land, especially for parking.”

As to surrounding property, Shove said values have gone very high and adjacent land owners have been toying with putting in parking garages and retail attractions.

Shove said one immediate neighbor, Bigelow Tea, which owns a building to the east of the station, is “not happy about the project as they’ll need to put up fences and a security shack to keep commuters from parking in their lot.”

Destructive teens have been another issue, as evidenced by graffiti tags on platform walls. “The building material is pre-cast concrete and it’s going to cost about $4,000 to remove the graffiti,” he said.

“All in all, though, for a large construction site like this, problems have been few,” said Shove, summing up.

steve sheppard May 12, 2011 at 06:58 PM
FYI.....Years ago we tried (a bunch of us commuters) to have a parking garage at the current train station with an overhead covered bridge but the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants Association, Fairfield Board of Realtors all rallied against it and instead we have a third train station. During the whole process no one has spoken regarding what kind of schedules the new station will have, as one concern is will this make the current station more of a local only schedule and the new station both local and express. Also realize that no matter how many new parking spaces are created the real problem is the number of train cars so get ready to stand when you get on in Fairfield, Southport, Greensfarms etc. as currently when I get on the train very few seats and by the time we hit Westport there are almost no seats.
Elaine Gavoli May 13, 2011 at 07:18 PM
We recently read that Bigelow is unhappy with the new Fairfield train station but for the record, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them as a neighbor! Elaine for Bigelow Tea
Barbara Fortune August 25, 2011 at 12:15 AM
1. As long as more funding is needed to finish the station I think there is still time to address parking and making it multilevel. Why not ?? 2 When it was planned there were 1500 people on the wait list, now there are more than 3000, but only plans for 1500...That is a big problem. 3. I've been asking for years what the stop schedule is going to be and no one has been able to say. The only thing I heard was that it would be a few minutes earlier than the existing schedule !?!? So Fairfield stop at Unqua will be more crowded than it has been ?? And the train that passes nearly enpty between the 6:42 and 6:53 from Bridgeport could stop at Fairfield Metro to alleviate the CRUSH of the 6:53 if someone from Metro North would meet with or ride the line or just stand at the Fairifeld (Unqua Road) station for a week to see what the stuation is, it would be most appreciated. Especially as the monthly fee for riding is going up $51 to $359 !!! a month through 2018!!! in Dec. 2011. Could someone from Metro North please consider holding a meeting to discuss the rationale behind the schedule stops?? I have been asking for the 7:06 to stop at 125th street for the 17 years I've been riding from Fairfield. No one can tell me why it cannot make that stop. Thank you! Concerned commuter for 30 years...
Barbara Fortune August 25, 2011 at 12:24 AM
P.S. Who is in charge of the awful LONG timing on the newly set up lights at Grasmere and King's Highway Extension on both sides of the RR bridge? Only ONE car could get through for weeks (now only TWO can!??!) get through both lights, the first one before the bridge over the RR tracks. It's going to take longer to get to the new station (from across the street) than to go to the old station!! the lights at the movie theatre intersection is not much better. Could whomever is doing the planning PLEASE drive through what they set up? I'm hoping that might make a difference. If nothing is done the wait is going to be all the way through the Fairfield Ave./Grassmere light and then some...Please look into this. Thank you, frustrated resident!
Josil August 25, 2011 at 04:33 AM
Bring back the old stop signs. They did a better job of traffic flow. I spend more time waiting at this intersection at a red light while no other traffic moves anywhere than I did before the new traffic lights were installed. The timing is ridiculous. When I finally get to move I don't get to move very far before hitting another red light. It seems that these are really dumb signals and don't know what the flow is like. It would help if the system could sense (through sensors) that no traffic is at a light and then let a different line of traffic go instead of making everyone wait until a fixed amount of time passes. Either the programmers don't know how to program the flow or someone ordered the wrong kind of signals. Put them on flashing red and traffic flow will improve.

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