Learn about possible multi-use trail next to Merritt Parkway at meeting

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) will hold a public informational meeting on the Merritt Parkway Multi-Use Trail Feasibility Study on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Roger Ludlowe Middle School team room, 689 Unquowa Road.

All members of the public are invited to learn about the current status of the study, which includes a presentation of a conceptual design, and to help the DOT gather local input and concerns regarding a multi-use trail through the Merritt Parkway right-of-way.

The Merritt Parkway runs 37.3 miles in southwestern Connecticut, passing through Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, Trumbull and Stratford (it turns into the Wilbur Cross Parkway after crossing the Housatonic River into Milford).

Learn more about the project at: www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=4185&Q=491882

For walking and bicycling

The trail would be designed for use by pedestrians, bicyclists and others. The state owns a 300-foot wide right-of-way for the Merritt Parkway, with the current highway only utilizing about 100 feet of that width.

Public informational meetings will take place in the towns the parkway traverses, and follow local public workshops held in 2012 in the same communities.

According to the DOT, the 2012 workshops were held to “provide the most compatible route for a path through the corridor based on environmental considerations and community input.”

Screening, wetlands, fencing

Following the workshops, the DOT came up with a conceptual plan for the multi-use trail. The conceptual design will outline treatment strategies for screening private properties, wetland crossings, side road crossings, and elements such as fencing and signage.

Some of the factors being considered are safety, maintenance, neighborhood inpact, and the effect on natural and cultural resources.

Next meeting is in Westport

After Fairfield, the next meeting has been set for Westport on Monday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Westport Town Hall Auditorium, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport.

Any resident who is unable to attend the meeting may send written questions or comments to Timothy M. Wilson, Manager of Highway Design, Connecticut Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 317546, Newington, CT 06131-7546, or email Timothy.Wilson@ct.gov.

In the event of inclement weather, the Fairfield meeting in will be held in the Osborn Hill Elementary School all-purpose room on Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m.