Merchants: Norwalk roadwork breaking up business

Business owners on Washington Street in south Norwalk pleaded with the government to stop roadwork that began Friday.

Richard Erlanger, co-owner of a folk art store on that street, said he and his fellow merchants weren't notified crews were coming to fix the cobblestone crosswalks. The crews shut down one side of the street, blocking parking spaces and the sidewalk.

Business has already suffered and it couldn't come at a worse time, the summer busy season, Erlanger said.

"We noticed the tourists haven't been on the block as much," he said.

An official from Norwalk's Department of Public Works said the construction, which should take about three weeks to complete, was a last-minute decision. The same crew finished a different project early, leaving leftover money, the official said.

Erlanger has a different solution. "How about put it in an IRA until April?" he said. "I'd like to see the construction cease right now."

Mayor Richard Moccia said he plans to speak with the merchants and contractor about the controversy.

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