Scale back Walk­bridge project

The Norwalk Hour - - OPINION -

I am writ­ing in hopes of ral­ly­ing re­sis­tance to the dis­as­trous bil­lion-dol­lar “Walk­bridge” that is planned for South Norwalk. The sheer scale of this project is quite as­ton­ish­ing — for con­text, Citi Field costs $900 mil­lion, and gen­er­ates mil­lions of dol­lars in rev­enue.

This bridge will be a net neg­a­tive on Norwalk fi­nances, qual­ity of life and en­vi­ron­ment. It is be­ing con­structed os­ten­si­bly for the ben­e­fit of two tiny busi­nesses up the river, that could be pur­chased out­right for five times their value and still save the tax­pay­ers hun­dreds of mil­lions in ridicu­lous ex­pen­di­tures. There is ab­so­lutely no need for a foot­bridge to ac­com­mo­date the thin foot traf­fic over the bridge from East to South Norwalk. Up­grades to the train track could surely be ac­com­plished with­out this bloated project plan.

The plan not only wastes money on a scheme that is a wind­fall only for con­struc­tion com­pa­nies, but also means that funds are un­avail­able for schools, which are in sore need of up­grades, hospi­tal ser­vices, hous­ing and other es­sen­tials for the Norwalk area. The plan re­quires de­mo­li­tion and re­moval of the very pop­u­lar IMAX theatre within the Mar­itime Aquar­ium. It will be a huge dis­rup­tion to the aquar­ium ser­vices and di­min­ish its ap­peal and at­trac­tion. It will dis­rupt traf­fic, and iron­i­cally foot traf­fic in and around South Norwalk, which will im­pact bars and restau­rants and re­duce the de­sir­abil­ity of the area for res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike.

It is hard to be­lieve that such a lu­di­crous plan has been put forth for any other rea­sons ex­cept back­room deals. I call on this news­pa­per to be a voice of rea­son and a cat­a­lyst to ci­ti­zen op­po­si­tion to such a waste­ful and long-term neg­a­tive plan. This ci­ti­zen be­lieves that we can­not sit back and ap­a­thet­i­cally watch this trav­esty take place be­fore our eyes and then won­der why we let our fi­nances dwin­dle and our lo­cal ameni­ties be spoiled, for such an il­log­i­cal, ill-con­ceived non­sense of a plan.

The politi­cians and lo­cal fig­ures who had a hand in this have a lot to an­swer for, and my hope is that the cit­i­zens of Norwalk will hold them ac­count­able and halt this in­san­ity.

Caro­line Well­man Norwalk

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