Grant will fund improvements to Old Lyme beach area

Old Lyme — The town has received a grant to cover about 80 percent of the costs to improve the Sound View Beach area, including proposed developments such as a bike path along Route 156, kiosk parking, restroom facilities and a public park with a picnic area, according to a town news release.

The state Department of Transportation is administering the funds through the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

The Sound View Commission, which formed to develop improvements to the beach area, worked with the engineering and planning firm BSC Group. The commission held public information meetings last year to present its proposed plans to residents and hear their comments.

The town could break ground on the project as soon as spring 2014. The plans will proceed in phases, and town officials will hold public meetings during the process, according to the release. The first phase includes a “Request for Qualifications” from firms.

Approval for the costs of the project will go to town meeting during phases of the process, said First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder. The DOT would then reimburse the town for an anticipated 80 percent of the costs, she said.

Reemsnyder said the improvements to Sound View would support both businesses and residents in that area.

k.drelich@theday.com

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