WALLINGFORD — The town has secured a state grant to help build a Quinnipiac River Linear Trail pedestrian bridge over a canal, linking the northern part of the trail to Main Street in Yalesville.
The state Department of Transportation awarded the town a $400,000 Community Connectivity Grant, the maximum amount available.
The Town Council is expected to vote on whether to accept the grant at Wednesday’s meeting.
The linear trail begins at Community Lake Park on Hall Avenue and runs north, ending at Fireworks Island.
There’s a bridge at Yalesville On the Green Condominiums that the public can drive over to access the trail, however no foot or bicycle traffic is allowed. This creates a gap between northern end of the trail and Main Street in Yalesville.
State Rep. Mary Mushinsky, co-chair of the Quinnipiac River Linear Trail Advisory Committee, said the group is moving forward with plans to construct a separate bridge.
The bridge would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to reach the trail right-of-way that connects to Main Street.
“This is a big step toward closing the trail gap,” Mushinsky said. “I’m grateful the united efforts of the State of Connecticut, Town of Wallingford and the trail committee were successful at obtaining these funds.”
The cost is estimated at about $1 million for bridge and trail work. Mushinsky said the trail committee has applied for a couple more grants to be pooled to fund the trail bridge.
Mushinsky and Town Engineer Rob Baltramaitis pursued the CCG grant, which is for the bridge component.
"It’s really looking encouraging that we can compile these various funding sources to truly fund and have a real project,” Baltramaitis said. “By receiving this grant, and with other known funding resources, we certainly get closer to completing our project.”
The trail committee had been waiting a year to hear the status of the grant application, which was submitted in August 2017.
Mushinsky said the CCG program, as well as other DOT projects, had been held up for several months until transportation-related budget issues were resolved.
The State Bond Commission approved on July 25 the DOT’s request to fund the grant program. The DOT began notifying towns in August.
The Community Connectivity Grant Program is aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle accommodations by providing funds for infrastructure improvements, according to the program website.