Borough seeks funding for phase two of greenway

This map shows the proposed route of phase two of a pedestrian greenway that would extend north along the Naugatuck River towards Waterbury.

NAUGATUCK — With construction of a circular greenway project finally ready to get off the ground after years of planning, the borough is applying for another grant to extend the walkway to connect to Waterbury.

On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Burgesses authorized Mayor Robert Mezzo to apply for the grant through the Connecticut Transportation Enhancement Program.

The extension, or phase two of the walkway, would start at the General Pulaski pedestrian bridge and extend north, parallel to and along the railroad tracks, then over a pedestrian bridge to the boat launch on the other side of the Naugatuck River, where it will connect into Waterbury.

Public Works Director James Stewart said the project will cost about $1.4 million, with the borough picking up 20 percent or $290,000 of that cost.
He said Waterbury has obtained funding to design a walkway heading south towards Naugatuck.

The borough is applying for funding through the Council of Governments (COG), which will have $1.15 million to allot to area towns through the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program.

“We’re in competition with the other towns in the area,” Stewart said.

He said COG will pick one or two of the highest ranking projects. If Naugatuck only receives half of the $1.15 million, the walkway would extend as long as funds allowed, according to Stewart.

Naugatuck’s project would rank highly because bikeways and pedestrian ways get fully qualified and highly rated, Stewart felt, and it’s an extension of an existing walkway, which will connect to another town.

“Connecting greenways gets you even more points,” Stewart said.

It’s exactly the kind of project the federal government is looking for, Stewart said.

Meanwhile, Naugatuck is getting bids in for first phase of the project, which will go from the pedestrian bridge by the Polish Club, along the Naugatuck River through Linden Park, down the walkway off of Exit 27 on Route 8, across the river over the Whittemore Bridge, head down Water Street to the intersection of Route 68 and Route 63, turn right on Bridge Street, and reconnect with the pedestrian bridge.

Construction on phase one will start this summer and take about 180 days to complete.

Naugatuck already has the funding in place for the $1.2 million project, of which the borough will pay $260,000.