Officials from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) joined residents in a public informational meeting Tuesday night at Norwalk City Hall to present a conceptual plan for the proposed Merritt Parkway Trail.
The Merritt Parkway Multi-use Trail Feasibility Study, analyzes strategies for constructing a proposed 37-mile paved trail on the northbound side of the parkway. Meetings are being held throughout the eight towns the proposed trail will run through.
"It starts in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport, and then it goes into Fairfield, Trumbull and then Stratford," said supervising engineer of Highway design, Michael Calabrese.
The trail takes into account wetland and side road crossings as well as fencing and signage. Although it comes at a convenience for many avid bikers, it will cost about $200-250 million, which is just one concern for many Norwalk residents. Officials say if constructed, the state will pay for capital repairs, but not daily maintenance.
"We went out and actually investigated and walked the entire length of the Merritt Parkway, then came up with a conceptual alignment, which we are presenting to these towns," said Calabrese.
Officials say after receiving a $1.1 million grant from Federal Byways in 2011, they began the study process. Many residents say they're concerned with the project's high cost, its daily maintenance, and disruptions to the existing landscape. Those opposed argued the trail's proximity to the parkway's nearby homes could be a potential disturbance to privacy. Others said the trail's proximity to homes will boost house's value.
"It would be broken up into numerous projects over numerous years," said Calabrese. "We would never try to undertake the whole thing at once."
For more information on the study visit the link shown above: