Ledyard officials hope to close Lambtown Road Extension to traffic year-round

Ledyard - After two winters of seasonally closing the scenic Lambtown Road Extension to vehicle traffic, the town is looking to close the narrow, 2-mile gravel road year-round.

Officials proposed the seasonal closing in the fall of 2012 to cut maintenance costs and protect the land surrounding it, armed with a 79-signature petition from residents supporting the closure and a letter of support from the Groton Open Space Association.

Snow-plowing in the winter was of particular concern because it would cause unintentional widening of the road.

This process would damage the abutting fields and wetlands and pose a threat to wildlife - a popular draw for hikers and cyclists.

The annual $5,000 spent on maintenance was halved, and the town spent about $4,500 installing gates.

Mayor John Rodolico said the town completed extensive road rehabilitation after the first seasonal closure and would continue to do occasional maintenance even after its permanent closure, including cutting back invasive brush.

But other than emergency services access to the one home on the extension - which has its own gate at the southern end - Rodolico said there is "no valid reason" for cars to use that road.

The Planning & Zoning Commission will schedule a public hearing on permanently closing the extension at its regular meeting Thursday. Rodolico said he expects a decision to be made by the end of March.

a.isaacs@theday.com

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