The Regional Bicycle Plan for the Greater Bridgeport Planning Region includes a concept to develop a continuous and interconnected multi-use trail for bicyclists and pedestrians from the Water Street Dock in Bridgeport to the Newtown town line. The approx
imate 15-mile trail would link communities, and provide a safe and protected transportation corridor for bicyclists, pedestrians and other users. To view a map in pdf format please click on the map below
Planning for this multi-use trail system began in 1992 with the announcement of the federal Transportation Enhancement program. As the Region’s municipalities began developing trail proposals, coordination was a key component of early planning efforts. An extraordinary opportunity to create a continuous trail existed because much of the abandoned and inactive Housatonic Railway line was intact. Three separate federal-aid projects are underway that will complete about 10.5 miles of the proposed proje
ct. These are:
Housatonic Railway Trail, Monroe:
This 4.1-mile section extends from about Purdy Hill Road to the Monroe-Newtowntown line, and follows the existing rail-bed over most of its length. A hard, stone-dust surface has been constructed and the trail is open for use.
Pequonnock Valley Greenway, Trumbull:
This 5.0-mile section extends southerly from Purdy Hill Road in Monroe, through Old Mine Park and the Pequonnock River Valley ending at Taits Mill Road in the vicinity of Trumbull Center. The old rail bed is in fairly good condition through the Pequonnock Valley and is currently being used for hiking and bicycling. Two timber bridges have been installed over the Pequonnock River, under US Department of Agriculture grants. The project design is finalized with construction scheduled in 2004.
Berkshire Rail Spur Trail, Bridgeport:
This 1.6-mile section follows the inactive Berkshire Spur rail line and extends from Stratford Avenue (Route 130) to North Avenue (US Route 1). Demolition of the elevated rail line and removal of ties and track was necessary. An 8-foot paved path was constructed and is open to the public.
These projects, although impressive, still have two critical gaps (Yellow). The Pequonnock Valley Greenway ends near Trumbull Center and the Berkshire Spur trail ends at North Avenue, a 4.6 mile missing link. It is possible to connect the trails by using roads and trails in several municipal parks, including Twin Brooks Park in Trumbull, and Fairchild Memorial Park, Beardsley Park, and Glenwood Park in Bridgeport. Short on-road sections and separate rights-of-way would be needed to connect these internal park roads. An application for federal aid has been submitted to design and construct their connection.
At the southern end of the Berkshire Spur trail is the Waterfront Park. It consists of a wood deck on piles along the Pequonnock River bank, but there is a missing, 800-foot section between the end of the boardwalk and the Water Street Dock. The boardwalk may be extended as part of the intermodal transportation center project.
With the proposed redevelopment of Steel Point and the Carpenter Tech property and efforts to recapture the banks of Yellow Mill Channel, plans are being formulated to create bicycle and pedestrian linkages to these sites.