Road projects fill Derby landscape

DERBY — It will be easier to get around in Derby once several infrastructure-improving projects get underway.

And they'll also help boost the local economy.

Phase III of the Greenway project has been awarded, said Sheila O'Malley, Derby's economic development director.

The plans include extending the trail system on the O'Sullivan Island portion of the trail, officials said. The extension will include the installation of a pedestrian footbridge over one of the inlets from the Naugatuck River near the current cul-de-sac next to the railroad bridge.

"It will be a more scenic route," O'Malley said. There will be a loop around O'Sullivan's Island, connecting it with Hog's Island via the pedestrian bridge.

People will still be able to walk the Greenway trail during construction.

"It won't hinder foot traffic," she said.

Across town, the access road to a planned industrial park on the former Department of Transportation property near BJ's Wholesale Club is expected to be completed in early fall.

The 1,800-linear-foot road with utilities will open up 17 areas of developable land, O'Malley said. The tract is intended for light manufacturing and commercial properties.

"We've heard from three serious prospective tenants," she said, and officials hope to put out requests for proposals soon.

The access road is being funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

The land was formerly owned by the state DOT, which sold it to the city in the 1990s.

O'Malley said companies would benefit from locating there.

"The beauty of it is that there's easy access to Route 8," she said. "It's good to be a tenant there, because you can be spotted easily."

City officials are also in the process of awarding a Hawthorne Avenue road reconstruction project that may get underway in September.

One lane of the street will remain open during construction, O'Malley said.