(Rendering courtesy of the City of Stamford website)
One week, there was little to see of the pending parking garage near the Stamford Transportation Center in southwestern Connecticut.
The next, the shell of a building jutted into the skyline.
That is all on purpose, according to officials with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).
Contractors working at the site are on track to complete the second stage of the 928-space parking garage by September to serve one of the state's busiest train stations, Josh Morgan, a spokesperson with CTDOT, told the Stamford Advocate.
Every day, elements are "being brought in and dropped in place, sort of like building a puzzle," he said.
City and state leaders broke ground on the $81.7 million car park in October 2021 to much fanfare. The building is meant to replace a crumbling garage on Station Place, directly across the street.
CTDOT and Stamford both characterize the new garage as part of a plan to reorganize an area near the station plagued by broader transportation problems.
With Pre-Cast Concrete Slabs, Work Moving Quickly
The state agency kicked off a master planning process earlier this year for the Stamford Transportation Center, which included floating options for a dedicated rideshare area and pedestrian improvements, the Advocate reported June 15.
Morgan explained that the first year of the project involved a lot of work out of the public eye, like drainage improvements and foundation work. At the same time, "hundreds and hundreds" of necessary pre-cast concrete slabs were created off-site, he said.
When the preliminary work on South State Street was finished, the concrete slabs were moved on-site, and construction could start.
The use of prefabricated elements, such as pre-cast construction, tend to speed up a project's building time by cutting down common roadblocks like inclement weather delays, Morgan said.
"So, if you drive by today and then again this time ... next week, it's probably [going to] look a little bit different," he added. "After a year of not much happening, everything is [now] happening all at once."
The prefabrication products are not the only reason the structure will be built by September.
According to Morgan, the agreement with the parking garage's contractors stipulates that construction "has to be done in about five months' time" and that this piece of the work began in May.
But once the building is completed, there is still more work to do, he said. From late 2022 until summer 2023 — when CTDOT expects to unveil the garage — contractors will work on the interior finishes.
Then, CTDOT will connect the garage with the Stamford Transportation Center via an enclosed pedestrian bridge. Morgan said the span should be in place "by the end of the year."
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