Portland walkers will enjoy expanded and repaired sidewalks over the next year or so. According to Director of Public Works Ryan O’Halpin, plans are completed for a new sidewalk along Riverside Street, connecting Chatham Court apartments with the commercial area along Marlborough Street. The project includes improved crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals, and sidewalks on High Street as it approaches Marlborough Street. These improvements are funded by a $500,000 Community Connectivity Grant from CT Department of Transportation along with the customary 20% community match. Portland’s Complete Streets Group was strongly supportive of changes to this area due to its obvious sidewalk and crosswalk deficiencies. Also, this project supports the prospect of a future Air Line Trail crossing at this location as the trail extends westward to connect with the Arrigoni Bridge.
Thanks to a recent $400,000 STEAP (Small Town Economic Assistance Program) grant awarded to Portland from the State of Connecticut , the recent sidewalk repairs along Main Street from Middlesex Avenue to Arvid Road can be extended another ¾ mile to a point near Gildersleeve School. This stretch of sidewalk is heavily used by walkers, runners, and parents with strollers, in spite of its current uneven and dangerous condition.
We congratulate the Town of Portland for recognizing the health and safety benefits of sidewalks and for making the investments (and seeking the supportive grants) that make these improvements possible.