North Avenue water tank replacement project to begin in Westport

Picture, designed by AECOM, of the original proposed water tanks on North Ave. in Westport. Taken in 2017.

Picture, designed by AECOM, of the original proposed water tanks on North Ave. in Westport. Taken in 2017.

Sophie Vaughan /Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTPORT — The Aquarion Water Company announced it will begin site preparation for the North Avenue water tank project at 63 to 67 North Ave. on June 4.

The project was approved in 2017 but sparked controversy when neighbors submitted an appeal to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) stating the construction could pose safety hazards. In December, the neighbors reached a settlement with Aquarion.

“For nearly two years, town staff and I have participated in numerous meetings, negotiations and discussions on how the proposed water tanks could be built with limited disruption to the neighborhood and its property values,” First Selectman Jim Marpe said in a statement on Tuesday. “The settlement agreement between the North Avenue neighbors and Aquarion is one that I endorsed to PURA.”

The water tank project includes construction of two 40-foot-tall water tanks, removal of an existing tank and extensive landscape restoration throughout the property. The project is expected to be completed in two years, the town said.

“I am confident that the controls put into place will allow for planned activity, minimal disruptions to the town and ample support to the neighbors,” Marpe said. “I would also like to thank the members of our state legislative delegation: Will Haskell, Tony Hwang, Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg, who were active in these negotiations.”

As part of the conditions of the settlement an ombudsman was appointed to act as a liaison between neighbors, town officials and Aquarion. The ombudsman will provide weekly updates to neighbors and meet with school and police personnel to insure minimal impact on North Avenue.

Construction hours will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with some prearranged extensions required during the construction. There are no planned roadway closures for North Avenue.