Town receives grant for road enhancements

The town has received a $1,200,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation through the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for improvements to the Kings Highway East/Commerce Drive area.

The federally-funded grant, which was recently approved by town bodies, will enable the town to make improvements along Kings Highway East from Chambers Street to Brentwood Avenue. The funding will be used to construct new sidewalks and curbs along both north and south sides, with median improvements for better pedestrian access and neighborhood aesthetics.

There will also be ADA-compliant handicap ramps installed at intersections. Bicycle amenities, such as bike racks, signs and bike parking, will also be included mainly at the new train station with possible expansion of signs and pavement markings along Chamber Street, Kings Highway East and Commerce Drive. Possible bike routes may be identified along these areas.

Following a public informational meeting held last June where requests were made to improve and encourage more walking and biking in this area, the town, with the cooperation of the Greater Regional Planning Council (GBRC), applied for this grant.

The town’s engineering department, residents, commuters, members of the Fairfield Bike Walk Coalition and some RTM members had asked for sidewalk improvements, additional sidewalks and bicycle amenities along Black Rock Turnpike, Commerce Drive and Kings Highway East at this public informational meeting.

“I am thankful that our town has been awarded this important grant to help make needed improvements in this key economic corridor,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. “This grant allows the town to connect adjoining neighborhoods to the new train station and encourages alternative means of transportation, such as biking and walking, that are more pedestrian friendly.”

“This investment is exciting because we have been advocating for upgrades to the Kings Highway East corridor for several years,” state Rep. Kin Fawcett said. “The residents on this side of town have been very patient and we are finally delivering some upgrades that are desperately needed.”

Design for this project is expected to start in spring 2014 and be completed around October 2014. Construction should begin April 2015 with project completion around December 2015.

For questions or more information, call the engineering department at 203-256-3015.

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