Exciting state funding now obligated to close a critical gap in our trail!

Published Date: 9/29/2015

With cash for bike trail, new era begins at ConnDOT

By: Mark Pazniokas | September 29, 2015  CTMIRROR.ORG

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will mark a milestone today when the state Bond Commission authorizes $5.1 million to construct a missing piece of the New Haven-to-Northampton, Mass., bicycle trail in Farmington.

For the first time, the DOT will wholly fund a section of a regional trail system that evolved from a series of municipal projects financed by a mix of federal dollars and local matching funds, a formula that long has frustrated advocates of mixed-use trails.

The funding signifies the start of the DOT delivering on a promise to play a stronger role with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in the completion of Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and another major system, the East Coast Greenway.

"It builds on the policy changes at Connecticut DOT and DEEP three or four years ago, when we decided to work together and take more of a role in coordinating these trail projects," said Thomas J. Maziarz, the DOT's chief of policy and planning. "This now takes it to the next level."

The bond authorization carries an added bit of symbolism: It is part of $17.5 million in initial funding for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's massive transportation infrastructure initiative, with nearly half the funds going to bicycle-and-pedestrian projects.

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