Residents reject hard roads and support critters

The Department of Transportation held a meeting at the Shelton Community Center on Dec. 14 to respond to concerns of Shelton residents regarding the replacement of the Lane Street Bridge over Means Brook.

Although engineers from Milone & MacBroom tried to discuss the aesthetics of the bridge design, residents expressed concern with the proposed temporary access road slated for the Lane Street cul-de-sac to Wesley Drive.  

City engineer Robert Kulacz said the temporary road will be paved because of possible poor weather conditions during construction. The city is also planning to keep the road after construction as an emergency road, but residents scoffed at the idea of keeping it paved.

Kulacz said it is not known what the conditions of a gravel road would be in cold weather or extreme rain. One resident shouted that it was fine up until now. Other residents voiced concern about how the paved road will affect the environment.

“This paving is in open space, designated to be that, and I am concerned from a conservationist point of view,” Lynn Todd Reid said. “The paving adds more noise, more smell, more everything to the critters that live there that need their sustenance.”

Anthony Ciriello, engineer from Milone & MacBroom, was asked by The Shelton Herald if there would be a safety risk if it was not paved. He said whether to pave it is a town decision and there is not a benefit to it being paved. However, he said, from a maintenance point of view, during snowplowing and access, it would be beneficial.

Deputy Fire Chief Tim Hongo said hard-pack road is fine as long as the road has a wide enough access point that fire equipment can go down it.

Ciriello said the project is slated to be bid in winter 2017 and into construction in summer 2018. He summarized the key points the engineers and city will be considering after meeting with residents.

“There is concern about the pavement and the critters, which are very important to us,” Ciriello said. “We’ll be in front of your Wetlands Commission, your Conservation Commission; all those things are equally important to us. Our biologist will present at that meeting, and we will resolve the runoff and stormwater issues, I promise you.”

Information from the meeting will be available on the Shelton city website. City Engineer Robert Kulacz can be reached for further questions at 203 -924-1555, ext. 17, or at