With Highway Project Opposed, Trail Becomes Transportation Solution in Connecticut

Posted 09/25/12 by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Building Trails

Photo © Norwalk River Valley Trail

The proposed Norwalk River Valley Trail in southwest Connecticut continues from great idea toward reality, with the completion of a design for a 27-mile, mixed use trail, utilizing both active and disused rail corridors, between Norwalk and Danbury.

According to newstimes.com of Danbury, the concept of a Norwalk River Valley Trail was launched years ago when the Connecticut Department of Transportation admitted it would never build a proposed limited-access four-lane highway between the two communities - a project opposed by locals for its nine-figure price tag. When the question arose of what might be done with the right-of-way the DOT acquired to build the road, the idea of a greenway, rather than a highway, got started.

Two short sections of the trail have already been completed in Norwalk and Wilton. Locals hope that major portions of the trail can be completed over the next five years.

Photo © Norwalk River Valley Trail

In addition to providing a critical active transportation link between schools, offices and homes in this growing region, the Norwalk River Valley Trail would also connect to a number commuter train stations.

Now the hard task of funding and constructing the trail begins. The good news, however, is that the communities involved understand the trail would be much more than a pleasant place of recreation.

"You could take a train to work, then use a bike to get home," local trail planner Pat Sesto told newstimes.com. "We're quite serious about this."

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