Trail work progressing in Southington, but intersection realignment needed

Trail work progressing in Southington, but intersection realignment needed


SOUTHINGTON — A portion of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail north of Curtis Street has been repaved but wasn’t yet open to the public as of Friday.

Money from an Environmental Protection Agency settlement against the now-defunct Solvents Recovery Service funded the construction. It’s still blocked off from the rest of the trail with caution tape though.

The trail extension is tied into a reconfiguration of a complicated five-way intersection at Curtiss and Hart streets. Town officials want to change the roads to make it safer for those using the linear trail.

Town Councilor John Barry said he hopes that people obey the rules and don’t starting using the new trail before the crossing is fixed.

“It’s a natural concern,” Barry said. “That intersection has to be addressed.”

Barry said he has asked Town Manager Garry Brumback if the intersection work could be rolled into trail work.

State money earmarked for the intersection reconfiguration could be available this year after being withheld last year. Expected state funding was frozen mid-year in 2016.

The Town Council unanimously approved the work at a meeting on March 13.

Brumback said the Capitol Region Council of Governments solicited bids and selected Martin Laviero Construction of Bristol for the work. The company has done work for the town before, including replacing the Town Hall roof.

The bid came in around the estimated cost of $350,000 but town officials are waiting on state funding to begin work.

Public Works Director Keith Hayden described the intersection of Hart and Curtiss streets as “kind of dangerous.”

One home at 79 Curtiss St. has been struck by cars six times, according to the owners, Charles and Cynthia Chapman. The latest was in 2014 when a car crashed into the front porch and door.

Hayden wants to create a T-style intersection, which will make the area safer and allow pedestrians walking on the trail to cross more easily. The trail currently runs south from Curtiss Street.
Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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