Essex has been awarded a $145,200 Connecticut Community Connectivity Grant to upgrade sections of sidewalk in Essex and Ivoryton villages, which are currently in less than ideal condition. The grant, awarded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), is intended to assist Connecticut’s communities in improving their complete transportation systems, from motor vehicles to transit, to bicycles and pedestrian networks.
“Fixing the sidewalks throughout town and making them all walkable and usable has been a mission of mine as well as [former first selectman] Phil [Miller]. The town is very excited that we have been awarded this grant,” said First Selectman Norm Needleman. “I have really taken this to heart and made use of all the grant money we have received, as well as some town money, to make several sidewalk improvements throughout town, in the recent years, including sidewalk work, which was recently completed at the foot of Main Street by the marina.
“These recent improvement have made that area more accessible and usable for residents and visitors alike,” Needleman said.
This Connectivity Grant will be used to repair a portion of sidewalk in Ivoryton near the old piano factory. Currently the old asphalt sidewalk is narrow, very bumpy and “not safe,” according to Needleman. The money will also be used for a portion of sidewalk currently in poor condition that leads from Town Hall to Champlin Square. Plans are to begin the work on these two sidewalks this fall.