Shelton seeks $3.6M in CT grants for downtown projects, road extension

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — The city is seeking state grants that, if obtained, would provide millions of dollars for major construction work downtown and for the Constitution Boulevard extension.  

The Board of Aldermen, at its meeting Thursday, voted to allow the city to apply for two Connecticut Community Challenge grants — the first for $2.2 million for Canal Street reconstruction projects, the second, $2.4 million for extension of Constitution Boulevard

As part of the grant, the city must put up 50 percent of the requested amount, meaning Shelton would provide $1.1 million for the Canal Street reconstruction work, bringing the total to $3.3 million for all the planned projects. 

The city would also put $1.2 million into the Constitution Boulevard extension work, bringing the total amount available for the project to $3.6 million. 

Shelton Economic Development Corp. President Paul Grimmer told the aldermen that, once submitted, a response from the state could come within 45 to 90 days. 

The Canal Street work focuses on reconstruction of Canal and Wooster streets; the engineering, design and construction costs for reopening the Wooster Street railroad crossing; and design and construction of the final phase of the Housatonic Riverwalk, from 235 Canal Street to the Shelton Canal Locks. 

“This is the culmination of nearly three decades of efforts,” Grimmer said about the proposed work along Canal Street. 

The work on Canal Street includes reconstruction of the roadway — including new sidewalks, handicapped ramps, lighting and brick pavers — from 235 Canal St. North along the road to the Shelton canal locks. 

Wooster Street reconstruction would include the same improvements from Canal Street to Howe Avenue. 

The city is also setting aside funds for engineering, design and construction of the Wooster Street railroad crossing, which has been closed for the past several years. All work on the reopening of the crossing would be done by the railroad company and paid for by the city. 

Grimmer said the city will initiate discussions with the state Department of Transportation about reopening the crossing. Shelton fire officials have stated in the past that the railroad crossing closure created a hazardous situation.

The crossing was first closed during the construction of Avalon Shelton on Canal Street. The city originally requested the crossing be closed, and after a hearing, the state DOT granted the request. It has remained closed off since. 

The Constitution Boulevard extension grant is for phase two of the road work. 

The city received $5 million from the state for construction of the roadway from Bridgeport Avenue into the Moss property to serve the Bigelow Tea development. 

“This latest grant would be for the second section … about 1,400 linear feet to take (the road) past the Bigelow development and which would allow the road to access six additional lots that the city had up for private development,” Grimmer added.