Mayor: Construction projects are signs of positive changes

Mayor John Harkins

Mayor John Harkins

[Editor’s Note: This is an op-ed column submitted by Mayor John Harkins.]

Driving around town, it’s hard not to notice all of the construction and pending construction work going on. Whether at the railroad station on Main Street, or in front of Sikorsky Memorial Airport on Route 113, the signs of progress are evident.

Both projects are being managed by the State of Connecticut, with federal agencies (FAA, EPA) also involved in the safety zone project at the airport. I wanted to take a moment to update residents on these important initiatives.

The airport project will feature the installation of a runway safety zone, the removal of 14,000 cubic yards of Raymark waste, and a modest realignment of a portion of Main Street. According to CT DOT,  portions of Phase I road construction / utility relocation will occur concurrently with the Raymark waste removal. Preparations for the above mentioned work have begun (survey, site security, mobilization, signage and facility procurements). A start date for excavation of material and traffic impacts will be forthcoming from DOT, and Raymark removal is not expected to begin prior to early November.

Residents can stay updated with the latest information regarding traffic patterns in the area by visiting The site is expected to be ready and available for viewing no later than September 12.  According to CT DOT, the website has been developed specifically for the project. Within the website will be project updates, traffic alerts, a contact page, links to the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s website and the Town of Stratford’s website.

Press releases will be sent out to various local news sources and variable message boards will be set up along Route 113 at least 14 days prior to any road closure.

The expansion of the parking at the Stratford railroad station is well underway. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. The project will result in a minimum of 109 new parking spaces at the facility. Alternate parking plans will remain in effect throughout the project. Updates on the latest developments with the project and alternate parking information can be found by clicking on the “railroad” link under “town departments” at

Aside from the above referenced projects, there will be more construction and remediation work in the coming months. The Town of Stratford has been awarded $2.85 million to cleanup the Contract Plating site, and $400,000 in Brownfield funds to take down the Mercer Fuel Towers.

The developers for the Stratford Army Engine Plant continue to make progress and are awaiting an agreement between the Army and CT DEEP on the testing of tidal waters near the property. My administration continues to push all involved parties to reach an agreement so the property can change hands and redevelopment can begin.

Getting each of these properties back into productive use will benefit all of Stratford.

While there will be some mild inconveniences with these on-going projects, the price of progress is certain to be more than worth it in the end.

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