Shelton eyes rehab, restoration of canal locks area

Shelton Canal and Locks

Shelton Canal and Locks

Jim Fuller / Contributed photo

SHELTON — Talk about simply cleaning up the north end of Canal Street at the Shelton Locks has turned into plans for environmental restoration of that area, according to city officials.

Paul Grimmer, president of the Shelton Economic Development Corp., confirmed that the city is soliciting engineers for a project that would include an environmental restoration of the canal, historically preserving the canal lock, and establishing public access to the Housatonic River.

“We anticipate that the creation of the Shelton Canal Park will be equally valuable to future development and residents residing along the north section of Canal Street,” Grimmer said.

He said Mayor Mark Lauretti authorized the SEDC to evaluate and consider consulting engineers to support the planning effort. Funding for the overall project has yet to be determined, according to Grimmer, as the plans remain in the preliminary stages.

He said the plan, which was presented at the SEDC board of director’s meeting in July, was enthusiastically supported by those in attendance.

The development of the Veteran’s Memorial Park and the Shelton Farm and Public Market at the south end of Canal Street has been a huge catalyst for development in downtown.

The environmental restoration of the canal would be focused on improving the area for the habitat.

Grimmer said the SEDC has obtained permission from the two major property owners — Cranberry Hill LLC and the McCallum family — to investigate undertaking the work and allowing public access once complete.

The Shelton Locks, from Housatonic River to the canal system, was built in 1867, allowing canal boats to be raised through three sets of locks by water entering each lock, one at a time, raising the boat approximately 10 feet. It was brought forward into the second and third locks to canal level and through the gates that divided each section.