Pedestrian safety takes precedent as series of sidewalks and a trail to be built in town
NEW CANAAN — A series of newly constructed sidewalks and walkways will soon be built downtown and at Waveny Park in an effort to improve pedestrian safety.
The Board of Selectmen Tuesday approved three Department of Public Works projects that would see a new stretch of sidewalk on Cherry Street, new sidewalks and ramps at the intersection of Brushy Ridge Road and Locust Avenue, and a new trail connecting Waveny Road to the Lapham Community Center.
The first project would see what Assistant Director of Public Works Tiger Mann called a segment of sidewalk in “disrepair” on the south side of Cherry Street from the Gulf station to the library replaced.
“This will be a very good project,” Mann said. The project will cost $91,600 and should be done by Thanksgiving, Mann estimates. Peter Lanni, Inc. was the lowest builder and will carry out the work.
The second project will create a safer crossing for pedestrians who live east of Route 123, a busy thoroughfare not easily crossed on foot, making their way to town.
“This has been in the works for a couple of years. We had a group of residents who live on the opposite side of (Route) 123 that didn’t have access to come across the street, to then access the sidewalks we have coming down Locust Avenue (that lead into town),” Mann explained.
The project would include granite curbing, a guide rail, crosswalk and roughly 150 feet of sidewalk along Brushy Ridge Road and Locust Avenue and will be completed for a total of $66,517, also by Peter Lanni.
Because Route 123 is a state highway, efforts to complete the project must be coordinated with the state and aspects, such as the pedestrian signals that will be stationed at the intersection, will be provided for the Town. According to Mann, the project has already been approved at the state level and is ready to begin, pending a scheduling agreement between state and town officials.
“It’s a tough intersection. i just saw people there Sunday trying to get across,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said.
The last project approved by the selectmen would provide a safe trail for pedestrians in Waveny Park near the Lapham Community Center.
“We’re basically trying to get the residents and the pedestrians off of the road itself and onto a trail system on the side of the road, because it does access our senior center and it is quite heavily traveled,” Mann said.
The $43,000 project had been cleared in this year’s budget and is a joint venture between the Department of Public Works and the Recreation Department. Deering Construction was chosen to undertake the construction.
The trail will run adjacent to the pool road and along the soccer and softball fields before ending at the front of the Lapham Community Center.
“This is a really good project, from a safety standpoint alone,” Selectman Nick Williams said.