Repair work starts on Trumbull mall parking garage closed since February

A hole in one of the elevated parking lots, seen from a ground level parking lot at the Westfield Trumbull shopping mall, in Trumbull, Conn. Feb. 14, 2022.

A hole in one of the elevated parking lots, seen from a ground level parking lot at the Westfield Trumbull shopping mall, in Trumbull, Conn. Feb. 14, 2022.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — Work has finally started to repair damage done to the Westfield Trumbull mall parking deck more than 10 months ago that closed portions of the upper and lower levels.

On Tuesday, Trumbull building official Robert Dunn said that he had spoken with a contractor that morning who had plans and a permit application to install "a temporary shoring system for the Westfield Mall Red Garage."

The upper deck and part of the lower deck of the Red Garage, near the mall's Target store, have been closed since mid-February, when a chunk of concrete fell through the deck, creating a large pothole. Dunn said, once the temporary shoring system is in place, it should enable "the closed sections of parking under the garage to reopen." 

On Thursday, Westfield officials issued a statement that the garage could at least partially reopen within weeks.

"Westfield Trumbull management confirms that work has started in the Red Garage that will allow additional parking spaces on the lower level of the garage to be reopened," the statement read. "We hope to complete this in advance of the holiday season."

A mall spokesperson clarified that work began on the parking garage Thursday.

The chunk of concrete originally fell through the upper deck on Feb. 13. At that time, a security guard said that roughly 50 cars were parked in the area affected by the damage and the cars’ owners were asked to move. A mall spokesperson later said that no one was hurt in the incident and no cars were damaged.

Earlier this year, town residents and town officials alike expressed frustration at how long it was taking for there to be progress on fixing the garage. 

In August — about six months after the original incident  — First Selectman Vicki Tesoro issued a statement saying that, though she was empathetic that repairs of this scope take time "customers have been inconvenienced for months and the problem does not reflect well on our mall.” 

Around that same time, the mall began offering alternative parking areas to Target customers to help make up for the lost parking.

The fact that work has begun to make at least some of that parking available again is positive, said Trumbull Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar.

"It’s a step in the right direction," she said. "I think it will help out holiday shoppers, and Target shoppers specifically, but we would like to see a more long-term comprehensive solution."