MERIDEN — The city has received a $400,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation to extend the Hanover Pond Trail from behind Platt High School to Coe Avenue.
The trail will be extended about 1,500 feet along Coe Avenue to the intersection with Bradley Avenue. The new on-road trail will be an eight-foot-wide concrete sidewalk. There will also be a bike lane on the road.
The trail will replace the existing sidewalk along Coe Avenue, which city officials say is in bad shape and poses a safety hazard for students. Platt and Lincoln Middle School are both located along Coe Avenue.
“It’s a mess,” Associate City Engineer Brian Ennis said about the sidewalks.
Design work for the Coe Avenue trail extension is complete. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed by the start of school, Ennis said.
The extension is part of the city’s larger “Linear Trail Master Plan” – which seeks to connect the city’s entire walking and biking trail system to encourage residents to walk or bike downtown.
“Eventually we would like all of our neighborhoods that have trails to be interconnected and lead to downtown,” Ennis said.
This trail extension is stopping at Bradley Avenue, Ennis said, because the city is in the process of reconfiguring the intersection of Coe and Hanover Road. Later this year, the city will start work on the Harbor Brook Trail, which will start just beyond the intersection of Hanover and Grove Road. The trail will run along Harbor Brook up until the Cooper Street bridge.
The $400,000 grant was given as part of the DOT’s Community Connectivity Grant Program, which promotes alternative transportation methods. The grant is expected to cover all project costs, according to City Manager Tim Coon.