Ridgefield has multiple projects breaking ground in 2022. Here’s what residents should expect.

Photo of Alyssa Seidman

RIDGEFIELD — The town has almost half a dozen projects breaking ground in 2022. From street realignments to facility expansions to additional parking. Here’s what residents should expect to see in the new year.

Sewer project

The second phase of the town’s long-awaited sewer project is expected to break ground this spring.

The project includes a top-to-bottom renovation of the District I treatment plant on South Street, which is ongoing, the closure of the District II plant on Route 7, and the construction of a new pump station and force-main sewer line.

The state pushed the town to undertake the projects to meet new regulations and environmental standards under the federal Clean Water Act.

Voters approved an estimated $48 million for the projects in 2018, but the actual costs came in at more than $55 million, according to calculations from Ridgefield’s Water Pollution Control Authority.

Last fall, voters approved $2.9 million of federal American Rescue Plan monies for the second phase of the project. The WPCA allocated $500,000 to further narrow the funding gap, and additional grant funding from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Clean Water Fund will shave off more than $1 million from the total.

Once the South Street plant is fully upgraded and connected to District II through the new sewer line, it will be able to treat 1.12 million gallons of effluent a day while returning long-term operational cost savings, according to the WPCA.

Main Street

Work on the town’s Main Street realignment project will resume this year.

In April, the state Department of Transportation will begin milling, paving and restriping Main Street between Governor and Prospect. In addition to realigning the intersection near CVS, workers will add three dedicated turn lanes, install bumpouts and pedestrian push buttons at crosswalks and add new trees and plantings along the sidewalks.

The construction will take six to seven months, bringing the overall project to completion by Thanksgiving.

Branchville

Infrastructure improvements are also coming to Branchville.

This year, work will begin on a $2 million state program to add streetlights, crosswalks and sidewalks along the western side of Route 7 and pedestrian bridges to access the northern side of the Branchville train station.

Along with a federal local bridge program — coming in 2023 — the project is intended to upgrade roads and improve pedestrian accessibility, with the goal of turning the area into a bustling downtown village.

Facility expansions

The Ridgefield Theater Barn is hoping to “get a shovel in the ground” this March to bring improvements to its nearly 100-year-old facility, Executive Director Pamme Jones said.

The $1.3 million project comprises a 3,370 square foot addition and 1,500 square feet of renovations. The construction will tack on a new space to the building’s existing two-story frame and renovate a portion on the back end of the structure, allowing the organization to grow its programs.

The Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield is also expanding its footprint to benefit its growing membership.

This August, construction is expected to begin on a 11,000-square-foot addition that will house a dedicated teen center for high school students, a middle school lounge, a technology café and an auxiliary gym.

With the new space, administrators can repurpose the existing clubhouse for “significantly enhanced” programs, educational activities and counseling services and thus engage more members, BCGR CEO Mike Flynn said.

Additional parking

Clearing for a new parking lot at Halpin Lane is anticipated to start some time this year.

The project will enhance traffic flow near and parking availability at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, the Theater Barn and the Ridgefield Rail Trail by creating a circular, two-way lot with 69 spaces. It will eliminate an existing pathway between the guild and a historic Norway maple to prevent people from parking or driving near it.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi said the town is looking at “several different additional projects for parking” to improve availability around town.

“The town's gonna be busy,” he said of the year ahead. “It’s time for badly-needed investments in our infrastructure. … Now is the time to get working on it and getting it done, and that’s what we need to do for 2022.”

alyssa.seidman@hearstmediact.com