NEW BRITAIN - Gov. Dannel Malloy visited the cityâ€™s downtown CTfastrak station Wednesday morning to announce $15 million in funding for transit-oriented development projects - almost $2 million of which will go New Britain.
The $15 million comes from the stateâ€™s Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development Grant Program.
â€śThese projects are about much more than our transportation system. They are about building stronger communities where people and businesses want to be,â€ť Malloy said when announcing the funding. â€śWe know, from experience, that these transit-oriented development investments work.â€ť
Malloy called funding these projects catalysts for growth in the state and explained the importance of continuing to fund Connecticutâ€™s transportation system.
â€śI want to be very clear, without a vital transportation system, we can have no transit-oriented development and our economic development itself will be stunted.â€ť
Transportation Commissioner James Redeker said CTfastrak has carried more than 7 million passengers since its inception and helps spur economic growth in the areas it operates.
â€śTOD (transit-oriented development) is already zoned and underway in stations up and down the Hartford line,â€ť Redeker said.
The first round of grants, which totaled about $5.4 million, will go to fund eleven projects in the state. Almost $2 million of this will go to New Britain for phase VII of the cityâ€™s Complete Streets Master Plan, which includes pedestrian infrastructure improvements to portions of Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street. The project will focus on sidewalks and lighting in the area.
Mayor Erin Stewart applied for the grants in June.
â€śWe are so grateful to receive this funding to continue with our Complete Streets Master Plan,â€ť Stewart told The Herald. â€śConstructing roadways that promote walkability, cycling and calmer motor vehicle traffic brings about a more vibrant and connected community that becomes more attractive to future developers.â€ť
The city is already working on a few projects in the area. Renovations turning the intersection of Columbus Boulevard and Bank Street into a roundabout began in May. Additionally, the city recently received funding for Columbus Commons, a project converting the site of the old police station into a multi-use compound featuring housing and businesses. The Columbus Commons project broke ground in October.
Berlin is also getting some funding for transit-oriented development.
The municipality will receive a little more than $500,000 to acquire property at 861 Farmington Avenue and the rail spur property adjacent to the Berlin Steel site. According to the state, these acquisitions are intended to assist in environmental cleanup efforts underway by the town and to expand redevelopment opportunities in the vicinity of the train station.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.