The money may not be in place yet, but the plans are there to create a large walking loop that would allow someone to walk from the flagpole in the borough to the Interstate 84 commuter lot by Berkshire Road and Wasserman Way, Newtown officials said.
The has drawn up the map of the proposed sidewalk loop, and officials are awaiting news of whether they have qualified for a $500,000 Safe Route to Schools grant, which would allow them to kick off the project with a sidewalk along Queen Street and extend the downtown walkways on Church Hill Road from Wendover Road to the flagpole.
The town also is in line for another Department of Transportation grant that would allow it to extend sidewalks, first on Route 25 from where it ends on Glover Avenue to Mile Hill Road by Walgreens and then continuing on Mile Hill Road – which at some point changes to Wasserman Way – to Reed Intermediate School, Newtown Land Use Director George Benson said. The second extension would be along Church Hill Road from the borough to Sandy Hook Center, he said.
The final two legs of the plan, which at the moment doesn't yet have grant funding, would be a new walkway on Wasserman Way from Reed School to the commuter lot by Interstate 84's Exit 11, and connect it with yet another one on Berkshire Road from there to Sandy Hook Center.
In addition to sidewalks, the loop would have the potential to connect with an existing Deep Brook segment of an 11-mile Al's Trail, that runs from the Upper Paugussett state park to behind Reed School.
First Selectman Pat Llodra said she wants to gain public support for the plan as the town looks for ways to pay for the project, such as through grant funding and other means.