TOWNS OF SIMSBURY AND BLOOMFIELD
State Approves, Provides Funding for Bloomfield to Tariffville Multi-use Trail Connector East Coast Greenway
Simsbury and Bloomfield have received project approval from the Connecticut Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Capital Region Council of Governments, to construct a 0.82 mile link in the Region’s Greenway system. The approval comes with grant funding in the amount of $1,020,000. The link will provide a safe, off-road, commuter and recreation bicycle/pedestrian route from near St. Andrew’s Church on Tariffville Road in Bloomfield to the Village of Tariffville in Simsbury. The trail section also bridges a gap in the East Coast Greenway.
“This is the product of a focused regional effort by the towns of Simsbury and Bloomfield, benefiting not only our towns but all of the users of the Greenway system” said Simsbury First Selectwoman Lisa Heavner. Bloomfield Town Manager Phil Schenck added, “by working together, we have achieved more than either town could have on its own – this is a success for all involved.”
Amenities to be installed include way finding signage, protective barrier and a pedestrian signal to be added to the existing traffic control signal at the Route 315 crossing. Bollards and signage will be added for street crossings.
Combined with other existing and approved trail sections in Bloomfield, a viable 2.83 mile commuter route will be provided to the Griffin Corporate Park. The trail also offers unique recreational opportunities by linking park facilities in Bloomfield and Simsbury. Along the route of the trail are the Metacomet hiking trail and the Farmington River gorge, a world class white water kayaking river. The Metacomet Trail is a federally protected National Scenic Trail, linking Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
A critical feature of this trail is the safety improvement offered by separating the bicycle/pedestrian users from the significant traffic on Route 189. Within the region, this trail will further the East Coast Greenway goal of linking town and city centers for commuting, recreation, and education purposes. The trail will eventually provide connection to the University of Hartford and regional magnet schools.
At the interstate level, this trail will become a key component of the 2900 mile Maine to Florida East Coast Greenway, as well as providing a key link in the connection to the 80.3 mile Farmington Canal Heritage trail, which will be an eventual continuous route from New Haven, CT to Amherst, MA.
In addition to the linking of regional trail sections, this trail will provide a safe bicycle/pedestrian facility to serve the users in the corridor. Based on use of other completed trail sections, 2,000 to 3,000 users per week are estimated to utilize this trail during the main use seasons.
The towns expressed gratitude to their respective state delegations, including Representatives John Hampton and David Baram and State Senators Kevin Witkos, Beth Bye and Doug McCrory, the Connecticut Greenways Council, the Simsbury Board of Selectmen and the Bloomfield Town Council for their critical support of the grant request.