Ever­source projects on the way

Util­ity to make re­pairs down­town next week; start on sub­sta­tion in Jan­uary

Greenwich Time - - FRONT PAGE - By Ken Bor­suk

“We’re look­ing to do the ma­jor­ity of the work at night to have the min­i­mal amount of im­pact.”

Tracey Al­ston, Ever­source’s com­mu­nity re­la­tions spe­cial­ist

GREEN­WICH — The Board of Selectmen on Thurs­day ap­proved road clo­sures to fa­cil­i­tate two projects by Ever­source En­ergy — re­pairs to pre­vent wide­spread black­outs like those ex­pe­ri­enced in Septem­ber, and the start of con­struc­tion of a con­tro­ver­sial new sub­sta­tion on Rail­road Av­enue.

The re­pair work will cause traf­fic prob­lems in down­town Green­wich on Mon­day and Tues­day. Parts of Ma­son Street and Bruce Park Av­enue will be blocked as crews work above and be­low ground to in­stall new cable and other equip­ment to fore­stall sig­nif­i­cant power out­ages like those that hit the town over two days of a heat wave in Septem­ber.

The out­ages were the re­sult of two un­der­ground cir­cuits fail­ing within 30 min­utes of each other, ac­cord­ing to the power com­pany, which af­fected the util­ity’s Prospect Street sub­sta­tion and the cus­tomers it serves. The work will in­volve bal­anc­ing cir­cuits on Green­wich Av­enue so too much strain is not placed on one.

“We’re look­ing to do the ma­jor­ity of the work at night to have the min­i­mal amount of im­pact,” said Tracey Al­ston, Ever­source’s com­mu­nity re­la­tions spe­cial­ist.

First Select­man Peter Te­sei ques­tioned why the work was be­ing done now when the down­town area is so busy for the hol­i­day sea­son. Al­ston said Ever­source’s pref­er­ence was to do it now be­fore us­age spikes later in the win­ter as peo­ple heat their homes.

Al­ston said the re­pair work likely will be done in three phases, fu­ture dates to be de­ter­mined.

“Our engi­neers and (peo­ple in) dis­tri­bu­tion have gone through and as­sessed the area of that full feed to re­ally look at if there were ar­eas we could im­prove, up­grade or change out,” Al­ston said. “Th­ese will be phased ap­proaches be­cause this will be a long time and we’re try­ing to have the least im­pact to the res­i­dents and busi­nesses in that area.”

Traf­fic next week will be de­toured from the in­ter­sec­tion of Bruce Park Av­enue and Ma­son Street.

As part of the work, Ever­source will also have to have crews out be­tween 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Mon­day morn­ing at other down­town lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Have­meyer Place, Lewis Street and the YMCA. How­ever work there will not re­quire road clo­sures.

Sub­sta­tion

The selectmen also gave unan­i­mous ap­proval to a series of clo­sures and de­tours that will be needed for work to com­mence in Jan­uary on the sub­sta­tion project. Un­der the cur­rent plan, the new sub­sta­tion will be built at 290 Rail­road Av­enue and then con­nected via un­der­ground trans­mis­sion lines to the ex­ist­ing sub­sta­tion in Cos Cob.

The Connecticut Sit­ing Coun­cil gave its ap­proval to the sub­sta­tion over the town’s ob­jec­tion in 2017, prompt­ing lo­cal of­fi­cials to file an ap­peal last De­cem­ber. Set­tle­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing; Te­sei said he hopes a res­o­lu­tion comes be­fore the selectmen soon.

“It’s in process and I think there are ne­go­ti­a­tions that have been on­go­ing with Pub­lic Works and town ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Te­sei said.

On Thurs­day the Board of Selectmen ap­proved a series of 11 road clo­sures and de­tours that will be needed in the area, af­fect­ing Sound Shore Drive, In­dian Field Road, Bruce Park Drive, Wood Road, Davis Av­enue, Mu­seum Drive, Steam­boat Road and Rail­road Av­enue.

Clo­sures will not take place all at once but will be scat­tered through­out the con­struc­tion process, which is ex­pected to last through 2019.

“We will be shar­ing the de­tours as they come up on the calendar,” Al­ston said.

The selectmen said it is im­por­tant that as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble be shared with the pub­lic.

“This is an area where we can­not over­com­mu­ni­cate,” Select­man Sandy Lit­vack said.

“Over­com­mu­ni­cat­ing is re­ally the mantra here, es­pe­cially this time of year,”

Te­sei said. “You need to make all the stake­hold­ers aware.”

Te­sei said res­i­dents should get daily up­dates on the work when­ever pos­si­ble, and added it could be posted on the town’s web­site as well.

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