Sandy-choked Pine Creek channel to be dredged
Superstorm Sandy left many parting "gifts" in town, and among the many indelible -- and unwelcome -- presents were piles of debris and sand swept into Pine Creek, creating a much shallower channel.
The town, however, has been granted permission by the state to begin dredging the creek, according to First Selectman Michael Tetreau, to restore the channel. Coastline Consultants, a contractor based in Madison, will perform the work.
Some of the prep work for the dredging is expected to begin next week, with the actual dredging planned a week or two after than.
Dredging will take about four to six weeks, although the work is dependent on weather and favorable tides.
The bid for the Pine Creek dredging came in at $450,000, according to Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo, and about $30,000 has been spent on the design.
The original estimate for the work was $400,000, but Michelangelo said the $5.15 million approved for all the post-Sandy repair projects in Fairfield was done with the understanding that these were raw estimates that lacked detailed engineering plans. It is expected that some projects could come in over the initial projections while others could be under the estimates, he said.
"Thus, this $5,155,700 bond resolution gave us the flexibility to not be tied to the individual dollar amounts on each project," Michelangelo said. The bonding resolution also included a 10 percent contingency.
The creek will be dredged approximately 2 feet from the mouth of the creek to an area of current "sand bars," approximately 1,200 feet from mouth. The dredge rig includes a 30-by-40-foot barge and an excavator with a bucket.
Before dredging the area, Coastline Consultants will let the town and property owners know if vessels or temporary structures have to be moved to allow access for dredging equipment. A section of the Fairfield Beach Road turnaround, adjacent to 2182 Fairfield Beach Road, may have to be narrowed for transport of removed sand. About half of the turnaround could be closed or narrowed, officials said.
Anyone with questions or who wants to review the detailed plans, can contact or visit the town's Engineering Department at 725 Old Post Road or call 203-256-3015. Updated information will be posted on the town's website, www.fairfieldct.org