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The city has hired the engineering firm of AECOM to assist with the remediation and demolition of the vacant Chromium Process building between Canal and West Canal streets in downtown Shelton.

AECOM will be paid $78,100 to formulate a project plan; test for asbestos, lead and PCB; do a structural survey, assist with the bidding and procurement process, and provide field oversight during demolition.

The funds will come from a state grant of slightly more than $1 million that the city and Shelton Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) received to knock down the structure.

The Chromium Process plant could be demolished later this year, and is expected to be replaced by a public parking lot.


Large firm is selected


The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously June 11 to hire AECOM, a large engineering, architectural and construction management company with multiple offices in Connecticut.

The aldermanic resolution stated that the current condition of Chromium Process plant, which has many broken windows and attracts graffiti, “presents an unacceptable risk to the public health and safety, and is an unacceptable blight.”

A three-person selection committee established by the city recommended hiring AECOM over three other firms that submitted initial proposals. Two companies, AECOM and GZA, were finalists and went through an interview process.

AECOM has completed work for SEDC in the past.

“[AECOM’s] experience and past performance working with the program is noteworthy and their eye towards cost-effectiveness was a priority with the committee,” wrote Patrick Carey, selection committee chairman.


Designing the parking lot


The selection committee also has recommended knocking down the factory’s unattached garage, which is close to the Shelton Farmers’ Market Building, and beginning the design of the parking lot and related drainage system as soon as possible.

Demolishing the Chromium Process factory, a brick structure that is about a half block long, should help make a connection between Howe Avenue and the riverfront.

A new parking lot is seen as a way to boost development efforts along Canal Street.

SEDC is a private, nonprofit agency created to work with the city on redeveloping downtown Shelton.