This weekend is the 22nd annual Connecticut Trails Day Weekend. There will be 258 trail events throughout the state on June 7th and 8th. Events include hiking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, cycling, bird watching and more. These events are guided by knowledgeable volunteers from local hiking clubs, parks and recreation departments, state agencies, conservation organizations, historic groups, education programs, and land trusts.
Click here to view a booklet with all the events.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced a series of grants under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP), which will be awarded to 27 towns throughout Connecticut for the purposes of funding a variety of economic development, community conservation and quality-of-life projects.
Several of the towns will use the grant money to repair sidewalks, streets and make their towns more bikeable and walkable. Below is a list from the Governor's Office of what some of these projects include:
$430,000 for the installation and repair of sidewalks for various streets throughout the town. These upgrades will provide pedestrian and handicapped pathways to the Downtown Business District as we as the Bethel Metro-North train station.
$500,000 to fund the design and construction of 1,630 linear feet of sidewalks throughout the town center. This sidewalk extension project will connect the recently upgraded West Main Street commercial area to a number of municipal facilities, retail establishments and residential neighborhoods.
$500,000 to implement Phase II of a comprehensive blight removal, public safety and public parking project. The project promotes economic development and removes a public health threat by remediating a brownfield at the former site of the Summit Thread Powerhouse and turning it into a public parking area, which will provide easy access to public transportation, retail and restaurant establishments and other area businesses.
$500,000 for the North Main Street Exit 12 gateway Economic Enhancement Project. This project will improve the appearance, enhance vehicular access, improve public safety, and increase the visibility of the businesses located on and adjacent to North Main Street. The project includes sidewalk extensions, and streetscape and lighting improvements.
$500,000 for the Main Street Connections Park and Parking Lot Project. The project involves redeveloping the property where an irreparably storm-damaged municipal building is located and replacing it with a parking area and recreational park. This will create a place in the center of town where people can relax and recreate. Features include much needed additional downtown parking, multi-modal canopied pathways, and seating in the park.
$363,000 for the fourth and final phase of the Brownstone Avenue Extension project. The first three phases involved the extension of Brownstone Avenue, new sidewalks and parking, and the construction of a pavilion and outdoor amphitheater stage. The fourth phase involves installing water and sewer connections to the pavilion, completion of a storage facility, construction of ADA-compliant bathrooms, and various outdoor amenities such as grills and picnic tables.
$320,000 for Phase III of the Danbury Road Streetscape project. Funding for this phase will go toward the installation of decorative streetlights, new sidewalks, and retrofitted handicapped ramps to enhance pedestrian safety.
$180,000 for final design and construction of exterior site improvements to Ridgefield’s Town Hall, including the reconstruction of existing walkways and stairs, installation of new lighting, and drainage improvements to improve site safety and aesthetics.
$200,000 for Phase III of the Seymour Sidewalk Replacement Project, making them ADA compliant. Streets include Pearl Street, Washington Ave and Roberts Street.
$500,000 for Phase III of the reconstruction of Turnpike Road, including drainage and improvements. The road was heavily damaged by flooding in October 2005 and the town has been working diligently to repair it to ensure a smooth and safe drive for commuters.
$500,000 for the Wilton Train Station Walkway Project, which consists of the design and construction of a pedestrian travelway that connects the Wilton Train Station, Wilton Center and several multi-family residential communities. The project will provide a safe pathway for people to walk throughout the center of town.
$500,000 for pedestrian and traffic flow improvements to the north entrance of the Beecher Road Elementary School. The renovation will improve safety and access to the school for students, employees and the residents of Woodbridge.
Read the full list of grants here.
During a meeting last week, the public was briefed on a feasibility study to link the Fairfield Metro and Black Rock with a new pedestrian bridge.
The study was spearheaded by the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council. Officials hope this study will lead to the bridge construction, as well as street and sidewalk improvements in 2016.
Read the full article in the CT Post here.
The State of Connecticut granted $1.5 million in funding to support the Riverwalk South and Gateway project in Hartford. This is the last piece of a three-mile loop of fully accessible riverwalks between the Founders and Charter Oak Bridges.
According to a news release from Governor Malloy's Office, the funds will allow for improvements to be made to Riverfront’s existing gravel walkway. Ultimately, the project will include a new entrance to the Riverfront linking the historic Coltsville and Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhoods to the Riverfront parks.
“This project will help revitalize Hartford and East Hartford along the Connecticut River, creating a vision that will spur activity along the riverfront while highlighting some of the region’s most charming assets,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “The funding will help the project accomplish important design goals as well as create up to five short-term jobs.”
“This exciting project also benefits hundreds of children who attend one of five schools in the Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhoods,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. “These students will now have direct access to the Riverfront. In addition, this project will create jobs and reconnect Hartford with the Connecticut River.”
The University of Connecticut (UConn) is creating a new master plan—the Next Generation Connecticut plan, which will bring extensive development and renovation to the university.
According to the Hartford Courant, plan of the plan includes looking into adding more walkways and bikeways on the roads around the UConn campus in Mansfield.
Linda Painter, the Mansfield Town Planner stated she wants to see more walkways and bikeways near the campus to cut down on vehicular traffic and improve pedestrian safety.
Read the article in its entirety here.
The City of New Haven plans to replace many of the city's pedestrian and street signs in 2014.
According to the Yale Daily News, many of the signs have grown out of date. The city will use a $670,000 grant it won in 2011 to renew its signage system.
Many of the signs are over 20 years old. They are being replaced because they contain out-of-date information or appear decrepit. Many are worn or pealing or are leaning over.
City officials also hope to add signs that will market destinations throughout the city.
Additionally, the project will add pedestrian signs in the downtown area, and other areas in the city with high pedestrian traffic.
Fieldwork on the project will begin in 2014, and the signs will be place in 2015.
Read the full article here.
CTfastrak has issued a construction bulletin.
In Hartford, the current pedestrian/cyclist crossing at the Flower Street Amtrak rail line will be permanently closed as of November 11, 2013. A temporary pedestrian walkway will be installed prior to the closure. The temporary pedestrian walkway is located below the I-84 viaduct, just north of the existing Amtrak rail crossing on Flower Street. It will run parallel to the rail line between Flower Street and Broad Street. This walkway has been established to provide connectivity with Capitol Avenue. View Temporary Pedestrian Walkway map here.
Stage 3 of the Flatbush Avenue Reconstruction project in Hartford and West Hartford was completed ahead of schedule. The Flatbush Avenue Bridge opened on Friday, October 18.
The Bridge goes over the existing Amtrak Railroad and the new CTfastrak guideway.
The four-lane bridge spans 1,100 feet and contains a pedestrian walkway. It cost $23.1 million.
The project also included the realignment and reconstruction of the intersection of New Park Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, and the reconstruction of the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Newfield Avenue.
Stage 3 of the project was scheduled to take 21 days, however it was completed earlier (11 days).
The Shoreline Greenway Trail celebrated the opening of a walkway over a marsh at Hammonassett Beach State Park in Madison on August 22.
When finished, the Shoreline Greenway Trail will extend 25 miles from Madison to Lighthouse Point in New Haven.
During the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, "The Shoreline Greenway Trail will encourage others to get outside by providing a safe, scenic off-road alternative for bicyclists, walkers and runners through Hammonasset Beach State Park. Today's celebration of the "walkway" over a marsh, illustrates the importance of protecting Connecticut's natural resources while at the same time providing a trail system that will link 25 miles from Madison to New Haven, connecting communities, neighborhoods, shopping areas and parks, while boosting economic vitality all along the shoreline.
Shoreline Greenway Trail Chair, Chip Angle added, "We are deeply gratefully to Hammonasset Park personnel, DEEP staff, every contributor and the amazing team of volunteers who have come together to make this section of the trail possible. It is a major step forward for the Shoreline Greenway Trail."
Click here to see a news clip from WTNH News Channel 8.
The Hammonasset Beach State Park and the Shoreline Greenway Trail will celebrate the opening of the "walkway across the marsh" on Thursday, August 22. The walkway is the key link in the Hammonasset section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.
Following a brief program, guests will be invited to walk across the walkway and explore the Shoreline Greenway Trail in the Park, or join the continuation of the State Park Centennial Sojourn, with a 21-mile bicycle ride to Farm River State Park in East Haven.
Click here for more information.
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