NORWALK - A proposal that calls for the relocation of some graves at Pine Island Cemetery in Norwalk to widen a street has drawn criticism from residents.

The city is considering widening Crescent Street to allow more traffic to travel safely along the road during periods of high traffic, relieving congestion on West Avenue in the process. The street widening calls for the removal of 11 unmarked graves and their relocation to another part of the cemetery.

Some residents say their ancestors are buried at the cemetery, which is the second oldest in the city, but they do understand the need to accommodate traffic. 

"As long as things are done properly and with due respect, I have no problem," says Terry Wilmont, of Norwalk. She says four or five of her ancestors are buried there.

City officials say the issue involves balancing historical preservation with the need for public safety. They anticipate that traffic will only get worse when a new mall opens.

The chairman of the Norwalk Historical Commission says the plan isn't finalized, and the city is seeking public input.