Board OKs Cross Street project

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The Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night approved a $5.2 million reconstruction of Cross Street from Route 8 to Route 63. The project includes realigning the intersection of Cross Street and Cotton Hollow Road. –LUKE MARSHALL
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night approved a $5.2 million reconstruction of Cross Street from Route 8 to Route 63. The project includes realigning the intersection of Cross Street and Cotton Hollow Road. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — One of the borough’s most well-traveled winding roads took another step towards being straightened out.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses gave its unanimous approval on the $5.2 million reconstruction of Cross Street on Tuesday night.

The project will reconstruct about 4,150 feet of Cross Street from Route 8 to New Haven Road. The project will include full-depth reconstruction, horizontal and vertical realignments, widening to a uniform 30-foot roadway width, new storm drainage system, curbing, retaining walls, sidewalks, guiderails and the realignment of the Cross Street and Cotton Hollow Road intersection.

The property at 10 Cotton Hollow Road may need to be completely bought for the project along with smaller pieces of other properties along the street.

Federal funds will cover 80 percent of the cost of the project. The state will pay for 10 percent, leaving the borough to pick up the remaining 10 percent or about $515,000.

In May the borough, along with the project development unit of the state Department of Transportation, held an informational meeting on the project for residents. At the time, residents expressed concerns about the project.

Public Works Director James Stewart said residents brought up concerns about traffic speed increasing, potentially more traffic and various curvatures of the road. However, the overall feeling of the project was generally positive, he said.

Stewart said the agency that issued the grant wants the borough to begin work on the project as soon as possible.

“They want us start the design phase and selecting a contractor as soon as possible. Apparently they’re changing how the whole system is working but the state wants to continue with projects that are in the pipeline,” Stewart said.

If everything goes has planned, work on the project is expected to take place in 2016 and 2017.

This is not the first time the borough has tried to undertake the reconstruction of Cross Street. The project was supposed to have been done in the mid-90s but never got off the ground. It now has the second-highest priority on a list of state Surface Transportation Program grants for municipalities in the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley.

“It hasn’t gotten any better, and this allows us to pursue the grant,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said.