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A foundation is next for the New Haven depot

THE NEW HAVEN train depot was moved from its original location on Route 7 last winter. Independent file photo/Steve James

NEW HAVEN — The next phase of creating a permanent home for the New Haven Train Depot is expected to begin later this month, when crews will start pouring a foundation for the historic structure.

The 19th-century building was moved from its previous location at the junction of Routes 7 and 17 earlier this year in order to allow for the resumption of passenger train traffic on the New Haven tracks this summer. The town of New Haven has worked hard to preserve the train depot, forming a committee that helped plan its elaborate journey to its current and final resting place just north of the New Haven Town Hall parking lot at 78 North St.

Now that the train depot has found its home, the work of making it a permanent site will soon begin. The initial work has been split into two tasks:

  • Task 1— Site excavation, footing and slab preparation, erosion control, drainage, backfilling and final grading.
  • Task 2 — Foundation footings, cast-in-place concrete foundation wall, masonry foundation work, foundation damp-proofing and waterproofing, and slab on grade.

The selectboard voted at its Aug. 23 meeting to accept a bid from Case Street Redi-Mix Inc. in Middlebury to complete those tasks.

But before that work can begin, the Messier Moving Company, which moved the train depot earlier this year, has to shift the building slightly to allow space for crews to work on the foundation. New Haven Selectman Steve Dupoise said this process should start by the third week of this month and will last through the fall.

“It’ll be a complete fall project before the Messier’s can come back and move the building (onto the new foundation),” he said.

Case Street Redi Mix’s bid estimated these two tasks at $104,700, to be covered by a $350,000 grant the town of New Haven received from the Northern Border Regional Commission last year.

Dupoise said getting to this point in the process has taken longer than expected, and he’s thankful for the grant that has allowed the town to get this far.

“Just an appreciation of what Gov. Scott did to grant us the award, the people at Northern Borders and support locally and regionally to help to get this grant and go through all the steps it took. It was a challenging time,” he said.

Following completion of these tasks, the train depot will be moved back onto the new foundation, framed and stabilized.

“From there, we will be trying to procure funds to start interior renovations, which probably won’t start until the spring,” Dupoise said.

He noted specific renovations will depend on the tenant the town lines up for the train depot.

Marin Howell is at [email protected].

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