An Oxford company is helping the Borough of Naugatuck complete a roughly one-mile pedestrian greenway along the Naugatuck River.
Guerrera Construction Co. of Christian Street, which specializes in highway and street construction, will begin the $2.17 million project soon, Naugatuck Public Works Director Jim Stewart told officials in that town on Tuesday night.
About the Project
The Borough's share of the project is $434,948. Some state grant money from the Local Capital Improvement Program will also be used to offset Naugatuck's share, and a majority - about $1.73 million - will come from the federal government, Stewart said. It is the first of three planned phases for the project.
The greenway will be constructed from General Pulaski walking bridge off of North Main Street, will connect to the pedestrian walking path along Linden Park and that will connect to the pedestrian walkway along Route 8 that leads to the center of Naugatuck at Maple Street near the Whittemore Bridge, which is also expected to undergo renovations in the near future. Stewart said the greenway project, which will include park benches, bike racks and lights, should be finished by December.
During development of the greenway, the Route 8 South onramp near the corner of North Main Street and the base of City Hill Street will be closed for about six weeks, Stewart said. He expects the closure to happen within the next month or two, depending on scheduling between Guerrera and the state Department of Transportation.
A Larger Plan to Connect Paths
The greenway project is part of an overall plan by municipalities along the Naugatuck River to connect via pedestrian walkways. The goal is to one day connect paths along 44 miles of river from Torrington in Litchfield County to Derby in the lower Naugatuck Valley. The plan is being overseen by the councils of governments that oversee the 13 municipalities that are part of this project.
Several portions of the greenway are already complete, including a small portion of it in the borough along the Naugatuck River at Linden Park. And the City of Derby has what is widely considered the nicest portion of the greenway and a model for the entire project. The Derby Greenway was officially opened with a dedication ceremony in 2006. The roughly 1.8-mile trail extends from the intersection of Main and Bridge Streets in Derby, southwest along the floodwall of the Housatonic River and under the Route 8 overpass, before wrapping around O’Sullivan’s Island to head north along the Naugatuck River floodwall, according to a website recently designed to detail each portion of the greenway project titled www.naugatuckriver.net/greenways. The Derby Greenway officially concludes at Division Street, opposite the entrance to the Ansonia Riverwalk.
That site lists plans for Naugatuck's greenway, which could connect to a Beacon Falls greenway one day, as follows:
"The Naugatuck River Greenway will take various forms including portions set adjacent to existing roadways, soft-surface pathways adjacent to the river (in the short term), 'railwith-trail' portions adjacent to Metro-North, and a multiuse path running through Borough parks adjacent to the river. The 3.3-mile route (which includes all three phases of the project) will incorporate the already planned greenway trail through Linden Park to the Maple Street Bridge and provide connections to many destinations and attractions such as the Green, the railroad station, the Historical Society Museum and a number of open spaces including Linden Park, Breen Field, the Naugatuck State Forest and a future recreation area on the former Uniroyal site. Trail-side amenities will include small parking lots, picnic areas, boat launches, rest stops, water fountains, public art, seating, interpretive signage and kiosks."