The City of Bristol is one of 28 municipalities in Connecticut to be awarded a Connecticut Recreational Trails Program grant in the amount of $320,000. The funding will be used for the planning and design of a recreational bike/pedestrian trail to provide a safe continuous connection between Rockwell Park/Muzzy Field to the West End neighborhood to Downtown. The proposed trail will traverse the West End neighborhood to public transit lines through the downtown area improving equitable access to outdoor recreation for all Bristol residents. Eventually, it is hoped that this accessible structured trail will eventually connect to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
In order to create a public involvement process that was collaborative, accessible, and inclusive, the City of Bristol partnered with the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) to engage the public in a study to gather information about how best to accommodate all users. NVCOG conducted interviews with stakeholders, created an online survey to gather public feedback, developed an interactive map, conducted public information meetings, held a walk audit in the area where the trail will be located, and provided frequent updates to the Bristol community to help guide the planning process. This study aims to build off the recently completed Route 229 Corridor Study which recommends adding a shared-use side path between Interstate 84 in the south to Route 6 in the North. These two routes combined will provide a north-south and east-west connection through Bristol, ensuring a safe and accessible corridor for non-motorized users to travel.
“This grant will allow the City to design a recreational bike/pedestrian trail that will create new opportunities to connect the West End neighborhood with downtown, thus providing all Bristol residents with a safe way to access public transportation and amenities in the downtown area,” stated Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano. “Additional funding will be sought in the future to make the connection from Route 229 to a meeting point with the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Plainville.”
PHOTO: Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano leads a press conference at Muzzy Field in the West End neighborhood with State officials to announce the $320,000 Connecticut Recreational Trails Program grant the City of Bristol has been awarded to fund the design of a recreational bike/pedestrian trail to provide a safe continuous connection between Rockwell Park/Muzzy Field to the West End neighborhood to Downtown. In photo from left to right: State Representative, Cara Pavalock-D’Amato; State Representative Mary Fortier; Mayor Caggiano; Representative, Joe Hoxha; Senator Henri Martin; Mike Lambert, bureau chief for outdoor recreation at DEEP; and Governor Lamont.