WESTPORT—Town commuters can expect delays on their daily trek to New York—construction in Lot #1 of the Westport Train Station is expected to start within the coming weeks.

The $1.5 million complete reconstruction project, passed by the Representative Town Meeting in early June, will improve storm drainage and staircases, add pedestrian walkways, set up cameras, and install LED lighting in addition to repaving and restriping the surface. When complete, the parking lot will be repurposed to have two points of entrance and exit as well as a right hand turn lane. Currently, the lot has five channels of egress.

“They are firming up and finalizing the contract with Department of Public Works and contractor who was awarded the job,” Deputy Police Chief Sam Arciola said. “Immediately upon the finalization of the contracts and we will firm up a set day to start. Our goal is to have everything completed before Labor Day.”

Lot #1 will not be closed until the actual construction starts. In response to the temporary loss of the 310 spaces during construction, Police Chief Foti Koskinas’ department will allow for temporary permit parking across Saugatuck Avenue abutting Lot #8 to the rear. They also advocate for commuters taking the shuttle from the Imperial Avenue parking lot to the Westport train station.

Additional permit parking will also be available at the Greens Farms train station on New Creek Road near Lot #2.

“I understand the frustration commuters face, but this will benefit the commuter” Koskinas said.

He noted that the first week after construction starts, there will be a heavy police presence in order to facilitate traffic flow and to show people where to park.

“I would encourage them (commuters) to give an extra 5-10 minutes the first week until they familiarize themselves where parking spots are. There is no question that people will be inconvenienced,” Koskinas said.

Koskinas said they picked construction for this time of year because the lots are less densely populated in the summer months. They found that over the last three years that both the Westport and Greens Farms stations’ lot usage drops to around 65 percent usage. In the case that both lots are filled Koskinas said, “We are prepared, between the two train stations, to add 190 additional spaces.”

“Were constantly analyzing and evaluating to meet the challenges to meet the commuters needs to make the transition as smooth as possible,” Arciola said.

@chrismmarquette/ cmarquette@bcnnew.com