Naugatuck sets sights on Phase II of greenway


This map shows the proposed route of Phase II of a pedestrian greenway that would extend north along the Naugatuck River towards Waterbury. -CONTRIBUTED
This map shows the proposed route of Phase II of a pedestrian greenway that would extend north along the Naugatuck River towards Waterbury. -CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — The borough has turned its attention to Phase II of the greenway project.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved an application last week to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for 80 percent of the cost to design the second phase.

Public Works Director James Stewart told the board the plan is for a 1.1 mile path along the Naugatuck River from the General Pulaski footbridge heading north towards Waterbury. It would travel along the railroad track and over to the boat launch at Platts Mills Road, Stewart said.

The design cost of the project is approximately $125,000, of which 80 percent would be reimbursed by the state if the grant is approved, Stewart told the board.

The borough applied for a grant last year to connect its greenway to Waterbury’s, but that proposal was rejected.

Town Planner Keith Rosenfeld said the regional Naugatuck greenway routing study that was done by the Council of Governments endorsed this phase of the greenway.

“With the work going on in Waterbury it is a logical extension, connecting it from Waterbury to the Town Green,” Rosenfeld said.

Phase I of the greenway runs from the General Pulaski Bridge, through Linden Park, and into the borough’s downtown. Phase I was originally planned to cost $2.2 million, mostly funded by state grants. Work began last fall but was delayed by the discovery of asbestos coating a retaining wall along the path. The borough is still working with its contractor, Guerrera Construction of Oxford, to accept the redone Pulaski bridge and agree on costs for a new retaining wall and the modifications to the path it will cause, Stewart said.

Stewart felt proceeding with Phase II is a good idea since it would connect two greenways.

“We felt this is the most logical step and most likely to get funded,” Stewart said.

Stewart said the cost for this project would be put into the Department of Public Work’s budget. If it is not able to be part of this coming fiscal year’s budget, Stewart said he would try to get funding for it from the state’s Local Capital Improvement Program, if he could get a grant.

Stewart said if the design work gets funded the borough would be ready to move forward on the second phase once it secured the money for construction, which he estimated to be approximately $1.4 million.

The greenway is part of a 44-mile greenway eventually planned to run along the Naugatuck River from Torrington to Derby.

After the second phase is complete, the borough will still need to complete a .8-mile stretch from the Maple Street Bridge to Breen Field and a 1.4-mile phase from there to the Beacon Falls line. Those combined will cost about $3.2 million, according to 2010 estimates which could be higher now due to inflation, Rosenfeld said.

The Republican American contributed to this article.