Grant to fund reconstruction of a section of Rubber Avenue

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NAUGATUCK — The borough is planning to reconstruct of section of Rubber Avenue with the help of state funding.

Officials want to completely reconstruct Rubber Avenue between Old Firehouse Road and Hoadley Street, which is approximately three-quarters of a mile.

Public Works Director James Stewart said the project will include reconstructing the road and sidewalks, planting trees, and the possibility of adding a bicycle lane.

The project, which is expected to cost about $6 million, will be paid for with a Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP) grant, which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The borough will be responsible for the cost of the design work, Stewart said.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses last week hired Weston and Sampson Engineers Inc., a Rocky Hill-based engineering firm, to do the design work. The design work will cost $216,000, and the money will come out of the capital projects budget, Stewart said.

Stewart said the borough originally set aside $500,000 for the design work.

“So it is significantly less than what was anticipated,” Stewart said.

There is no timetable yet for the project.

One of the proposed changes to the street is a roundabout at the intersection of Meadow Street, Cherry Street and Rubber Avenue.

Stewart said Weston and Sampson will create a concept drawing of the roundabout and the borough will bring it to a public meeting. If a consensus is reached that the roundabout is worth doing, Weston and Sampson would work it into its overall design, Stewart said.

While he was in favor of the roundabout, Burgess Robert Neth said he’s concerned that drivers wouldn’t know how to navigate it.

“People just have to understand the word ‘yield.’ We have a lot of idiots out there,” Neth said.

The project will also include work on a new drainage system that would come down Aetna Street and into Rubber Avenue, Stewart said.

Stewart said this is unique because the LOTCIP grant typically doesn’t cover anything off the main road.

Ultimately, the redesigned drainage system will drain into Long Meadow Pond Brook, which runs just south of Rubber Avenue, he said.

This is not the first time the borough has used a LOTCIP grant to reconstruct a road.

Repairs to Spring Street, between the Naugatuck Police Department and the Waterbury town line, were completed in 2017 with a LOTCIP grant.

The borough also received a LOTCIP grant for the reconstruction of North Main Street between the Route 8 on- and off-ramps and Union Street.

Stewart said the borough has completed the design portion of the North Main Street project and the bid for the reconstruction work will be awarded in September. The project, which will cost approximately $3.6 million, will be completed in 2019, Stewart said.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said the borough has been able to obtain LOTCIP funding for all these projects because it is aggressive with its applications.

“These are all large projects that supplement the large amount of paving we are doing and it is working very well,” Hess said.