BERLIN - Additional sidewalks are coming down the path for the Public Works Department this summer.
The streets receiving upgrades are Kensington Road, Four Rod Road, Camels Back Road and Burhnam Street. The project is being funded by a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant the town received from the Office of Policy and Management.
“We’re trying to connect the dots,” said Jack Healy, interim town manager and public works director and town engineer.
“Wewant to connect the dots so the town is more accessible for people to walk, ride bikes, things like that,” he added, citing the push for development of the Kensington area. “The idea is to connect people to the center.”
If funds are left over after the priority streets are finished, Healy said, other streets like Percival Avenue and Robbins Way may receive sidewalk improvements as well. Tree trimming began before the July 4th holiday and the sidewalk installation began this week.
Milone & MacBroom of Chesire completed the landscape architecture and Complete LLC of Oakville is the general contractor completing the sidewalk construction.
Healy said minor traffic disruptions will arise as a result of the construction, which should finish around late September or early October.
Coinciding with the project is an updating of the Kensington Road Bridge. Town officials realized the bridge needed updating after wanting to extend the sidewalks over the bridge but didn’t have enough funds with the STEAP grant to do so.
The bridge has a steel pipe underneath that has rusted over the years.
Adding to the complication of the reconstruction is the need for a fish ladder, required by the DEEP, to allow fish to return to their native grounds.
The town submitted an application for the Capitol Region of Governments funding request of $738,000 with 50 to 90 percent of the project eligible for funding. The town would assume the remaining difference of the project that wasn’t budgeted for in the current budget, but is part of a 10-year improvement plan by the town.
The town should hear back around the end of July or August, Healy said, before starting construction next year so as to not get interrupted during the winter season. Minor traffic disruptions would occur.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.