TORRINGTON — The trail’s route and user safety were the most discussed topics at a public meeting Thursday about expansion of the Sue Grossman Trail into the city.
Planning and engineering consultants from BSC Group of Glastonbury presented a detailed map that showed color-coded lines delineating the best options for bringing the trail from Harris Drive and Winsted Street south into downtown.
Work on the project began in 2017 and now has progressed into the mapping and decision stage.
“Last summer we did site visits, took field trips off-road and forded a stream,” said William Paille, a professional engineer with BSC.
“It was important because we saw it with our own eyes,” Paille said. “We could see what’s ahead of us and what we can do” to build the trail.
Noting that the trail crosses Harris Drive, Egidio Recidiri told the engineers that the area floods. “The fire department had to come in and get us out with the boat” during one incident. “It floods from three inches to three feet,” he added.
Input from residents is why the public meetings are held, Paille said.
Zoning and Wetlands Enforcement Officer Rista Malanca said the city and its consultants are looking at the plan on a conceptual level. “We want to make sure our design will work. To see how the alignment of the trail goes into the (Naugatuck River Valley) Greenway,” behind Torrington Library.
The traffic on Winsted Road was a concern but, Malanca said, “we’re kind of stuck with it if we want to connect the trail” to the Greenway. She said it could be built within the road’s right of way. “The trail will be inside the guardrail and out of the way” of traffic.
The length of the trail from the city line to downtown is about five miles, Malanca said.
The unfinished trail in Winsted is popular, Malanca said. “It amazes me that the trail doesn’t connect to anything, but in 2017 there were 43,000 people who used the trail.”
She said the finished trail would help the economy of the city as the thousands of people who now use the trail will follow it into downtown.
Maps of the proposed routes are expected to be posted on the city’s website early next week, the consultants said.