Trumbull has been notified it will receive a $2,050,000 state grant from the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program to build a trailhead and trail connector on Church Hill Road leading to the Pequonnock River Trail.
The application was reviewed and approved by the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG) board and subsequently submitted to the state Department of Transportation for additional review and acceptance into the program.
The project is in keeping with the town’s 2014 Plan of Conservation and Development, which calls for connecting the Pequonnock Trail to Trumbull’s commercial centers.
“In addition to supporting our businesses and providing additional connectivity in our community, the project will enhance public safety by creating midpoint access to the trail and it will also help alleviate the parking problems in the Tait Road and Whitney Avenue neighborhoods,” First Selectman Timothy Herbst said.
The connection “will enhance Trumbull and the region and provide economic benefit to area businesses,” said MetroCOG Executive Director Matthew Fulda.
Trumbull will be working through project details with MetroCOG and CTDOT in the coming weeks, said Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar, who noted that construction costs are covered by the grant.
“The project can stand alone or be incorporated with the community center if that project is approved in the future,” Bakalar said, referring to a long-discussed project that Herbst has estimated, if completed, could bring in annual tax revenues of $600,000.
“If the community center ultimately goes forward, this grant will reduce the cost of that project by $1 million in hardscape costs,” Bakalar said.
She also referred to a recent study by the Naugatuck River Greenway that showed trail users spend an average of $14 per visit when using trails. With more than 6,000 people a week using the trail during peak season, Bakalar said, “That is $84,000 of potential investment in our local economy during those weeks.”