The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments will hold a stakeholder kickoff meeting on the design of renovations and enhancements to the Derby-Shelton Bridge over the Housatonic River on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at the Avalon Shelton, 185 Canal St., Shelton at 6 p.m. The meeting will provide stakeholders an opportunity to meet the design team and learn about the project, including preliminary concept plans and an anticipated project timeline. The intent of the project is to create an \u201caesthetically pleasing\u201d public space along the Derby-Shelton Bridge and provide an attractive gateway to the downtown areas of Derby and Shelton. It is being designed by AECOM under contract to the NVCOG. Construction will be advertised and administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). The project will include: \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 The replacement of bridge parapet walls; The new parapet will be either a solid concrete wall or include decorative railings; The railing treatment and its placement along the parapet can provide safety, as well as aesthetically attractive sightlines \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 The removal of existing lighting and replacement with period style lights that both enhance the presence of the bridge at night and comply with dark sky guidelines; Additional lighting would be installed within the pedestrian plaza as needed \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Various roadway improvements, including the narrowing of the travel lanes to accommodate the public space and a bi-directional cycle-track to separate bicyclists from both vehicle traffic and pedestrians. \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 The placement of benches that serve as a catalyst for creating a gathering or resting place, and encourage walkers to linger to enjoy the views of the river The project will also offer connectivity with the existing Housatonic Riverwalk trail network in Shelton and the Derby Greenway\/Naugatuck River Greenway in Derby. The project limits will extend from the Bridge Street intersection with Main Street in Derby to the west end of the Derby-Shelton Bridge and includes the connections to Canal Street. The project is a direct outgrowth of a study completed by the Derby Shelton Rotary Club that recommended ornamental lighting, new sidewalks and curbing, decorative paving and accents, and ornamental railings as a way of creating a gateway between Derby and Shelton. A grant provided by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) further refined concepts and assessed alternatives. The state Bond Commission, under a request by State Representatives Themis Klarides, R-114, Jason Perillo, R-113, and Ben McGorty, R-122, authorized funds for the design and construction of improvements, and the CTDOT subsequently authorized federal transportation dollars to fully fund construction. \u201cIt has taken some time to get this project started,\u201d said Mark Nielsen, NVCOG Director of Planning. \u201cHowever, a lot people have been diligent in securing the funding needed to see the enhancements become a reality.\u201d It is currently expected that the design will take 17 months to complete, with construction being bid in early 2019 and completed by the end of that calendar year. Any design must comply with historic preservation guidelines. Also, while travel lanes may be narrowed, there will be no reduction in roadway capacity.