Stonington asks residents to grant easements for Pawcatuck sidewalk project
Stonington — The town is asking 28 property owners along Route 1 in Pawcatuck to grant it easements so the long-awaited project to install sidewalks from the high school to downtown Pawcatuck can begin.
Director of Economic and Community Development Susan Cullen said this week that letters have been sent to the property owners and they have begun making appointments to see the almost complete engineering plans or calling her. The easements are needed because the town will need to do work on, cross or access the properties.
"So far no one has had any problems. They are thrilled the sidewalks are coming," she said.
There are also plans to hold a virtual community meeting to explain the project next month.
"It's their property so we want people to know what to expect. We don't want anyone to be surprised," Cullen said.
For decades, town officials have discussed creating a continuous sidewalk from the high school to the downtown to improve safety along the busy road and create a more pedestrian-friendly community. Currently, there are sections of sidewalk along the road but other areas of the road from the high school to Mayflower Street do not have them.
"It will give people safe passage to the downtown village," Cullen said.
The town has appropriated $130,000 for BL Companies of Hartford to engineer the design for the project. Cullen also wrote the grant application that the town used to acquire $600,000 in state funding for the project. It is expected more funding will be requested in the town's upcoming 2021-22 capital improvement budget.
Cullen said the actual cost of construction will exceed $600,000 but by how much will not be known until the design is completed.
She said there are some challenging sections of the road where there are steep slopes and wetlands. She expects work to begin this summer.
Both state Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, and former state Rep. Kate Rotella, D-Mystic, had pushed for the state funding.
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