Southington gets state grant for rail-trail intersection

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

Southington recently secured a grant of more than $300,000 for intersection improvements to Curtiss Street, Hart Street and Kane Street in the area of the canal trail project.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that Southington is one of 40 towns across the state that will receive funding under a competitive state grant program that seeks to support pedestrian and bicycle safety and improve accessibility within urban, suburban and rural community centers where people can meet for work, school, social and recreational activities.

The grants are administrated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) through the community connectivity grant program, which seeks to make conditions safer for people of all ages to walk, bike, and take transit, encouraging more people to use these healthy and environmentally sustainable modes of travel. At the same time, these improvements will make Connecticut’s community centers more accessible places to live and work.

“Modernizing and updating our transportation infrastructure—including making accessible neighborhoods for pedestrians and bicyclists—is critical if we want to have thriving towns where families want to live, businesses can flourish, and communities succeed,” said Malloy in a press release. “These grants are targeted toward strengthening our towns and cities and fostering growth in our local economies.”

The grants were awarded on a competitive basis in a range between $75,000 and $400,000 based on applications that municipalities submitted to CTDOT. Municipalities were allowed to submit one application per community. CTDOT staff reviewed, rated, and ranked each of the proposals.

“The objective of this grant program is to provide construction funding directly to municipalities for infrastructure improvements that are aligned with the overall program goals,” CTDOT commissioner James Redeker said in a press release. “We are excited to work directly with our municipalities to provide safer, more accessible travel for our residents.”

Southington’s grant totals $314,339.21. The canal trail currently goes from the Cheshire town line to Lazy Lane.

As far as the remainder of the trail from Lazy Lane to the Plainville town line, the current schedule has the design completion in fall of 2018, according to public works director Keith Hayden. Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2019 with a completion in spring of 2020.

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