Work began Monday to replace the deteriorating brick surface on the "patio" next to the eastbound terminal of Fairfield's downtown train station.

Public Works Superintendent Scott Bartlett said the work on resurfacing the area -- where hazards were posed by bricks missing in some spots, while others were loose and protruding -- initially was to be financed by a $100,000 grant from the state. That grant to be used to pay for installing canopies over the stairwells from the railroad station up to Unquowa Road and resurfacing the steps and landings. Bartlett said once the bids came in for the canopies and stair work, officials realized there was not enough money to also repair the patio, where rail passengers often wait to be picked up, and racks are set out for commuters' bicycles and scooters. The low bid for the canopy is $69,218 from New Haven Awning Co., and the lowest base bid for resurfacing the stairwells is $22,420 from Frank Capasso & Sons, Inc.

The Parking Authority decided then it would use $27,000 of its own funds to replace the brick surface with concrete pavers. In many places on the patio, the bricks were cracked or coming loose, which created an uneven surface. The new pavers are gray, colonial-style cobblestones that match existing pavers.

The contract was awarded to G Pic and Sons Construction Co., which will provide all the materials, tools and labor. The company will also install new bike/scooter racks.

By midday Monday, all the old bricks had been removed, and by later in the afternoon, workers were installing the new concrete pavers.; 203-556-2771;