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Meeting Tuesday seeks input on Merritt Parkway trail

Published 5:03 pm, Thursday, February 20, 2014
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State transportation officials will unveil design plans for a proposed multi-use trail along the Merritt Parkway and seek public input during a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Team Room at Roger Ludlowe Middle School, 689 Unquowa Road. Signs in the school lobby will direct visitors to the room, the first selectman's office said in a news release.

The state Department of Transportation is conducting a feasibility study on a trail that would cut through Fairfield and other towns along the 37.5-mile parkway's right of way. It would be used for walking, jogging, bicycling and horseback riding.

The meeting will include a presentation on the trail's design; then officials will ask for input.

Proponents of the trail anticipate that residents who live near the right of way will have concerns about crime and their privacy, according to the group's website, www.merrittparkwaytrail.org .

The design to be presented at the meeting was drawn following a series of workshops in 2012 with residents of communities through which the parkway passes. Transportation officials heard residents' recommendations and concerns during those sessions, according to the release.

The presentation at Tuesday's meeting will outline strategies for screening private properties, wetland crossings, side road crossings and elements such as fencing and signage.

The goal of the meeting is for the DOT to identify areas which may require further consideration and finalize information to be included in an environmental assessment.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau said in the release he encourages residents to attend the meeting.

If postponed by bad weather, the meeting will be March 12 at 7 p.m. in the All-Purpose Room at Osborn Hill Elementary School, 760 Stillson Road.

Residents 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

They also may be emailed to Wilton at Timothy.Wilson@ct.gov.

More information about the project from the DOT is available at www.ct.gov/dot/MerrittTrailStudy.