Storm Ida adds to road blockages alongside the Aquarion project in Stamford, Greenwich


STAMFORD – For most of the past two years, Maureen Blum has lived with the mess.

When Aquarion Water Company began replacing the pipeline on its street in Stamford in May 2020, it said trucks started moving up and down its route most of the time. She claims construction-related garbage started showing up on the side of the road and road signs started to look weathered.

“Our beautiful Farms Road area has become a disaster area,” she said.

This project – dedicated to replacing an existing 20-inch raw water pipeline between part of Stamford and Greenwich – was due to end after six months of construction and engineering efforts on the border between the two cities. Instead, the initiative has dragged on so far, and during the latter part of construction, Tropical Storm Ida added an additional wrinkle to the renovation.

Floodwater from a stream passing near Farms Road spilled onto the culvert that carries water under the street during Ida’s descent into Lower Fairfield County, washing away dirt and pavement from the road and causing temporary closures nearby.

In Blum’s eyes, a situation that had already pissed her off for most of the pandemic has become even more aggravating.

“If all of this was done at the right time,” she said, “And the surface of the sub-road was properly put back in place, and the road was milled and (asphalted) correctly, we wouldn’t have a road that was washed away. “

Aquarion spokesperson Peter Fazekas says the end is near.

Even though the storm still damaged the pavement and caused extensive flooding, the utility company “lost only a few days (of work) due to the storm”.

Aquarion still hopes to complete the pipeline project at Stamford “by the end of the month,” he said.

While Fazekas has maintained that little work remains on the pipeline on the Aquarion side, he acknowledges that further delays could result from necessary road maintenance work after the storm. The city barricaded part of Farms Road due to damage caused by Ida.

To repair the road, city engineer Lou Casolo told the Stamford Advocate that Stamford needs to hire an engineering company to lead the reconstruction efforts.

“Once the design documents and permits are completed and approved and project funding obtained, the contractors will be selected,” Casolo said.

When complete, the pipeline will run “approximately 7,800 feet in length” between the Bargh Reservoir Dam in Stamford and the Rockwood Lake Watershed in Greenwich. The utility company has installed just under 7,000 feet of pipe so far, although significant parts of the project in both cities have yet to undergo water pressure tests, he said.

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