Wilton wins $500,000 grant to connect rail station and town center

The town of Wilton today received word it has won a grant to build a pedestrian walkway to connect the Wilton train station and Wilton town center. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office issued a press release this morning announcing Wilton will receive a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant.

“These small town grants allow the state to partner with municipalities on projects that will help improve our communities, rebuild our infrastructure, and create jobs,” Mr. Malloy said. “These are investments that will make our towns a better place to live and work, will increase the quality of life, and help attract economic development and growth.”

First Selectman Bill Brennan called this is a “real economic victory” for the town. He credited success for winning the grant to a concerted effort by Wilton legislators state Sen. Toni Boucher, and state Reps. Gail Lavielle and Tom O’Dea in supporting the project, as well as letters written by   U.S. Congressman Jim Himes and citizens, including those who live at Wilton Commons, which is near the train station.

The Wilton Station Walkway will include a paved walkway and pedestrian bridge over the Norwalk River connecting the Wilton train station, Wilton Commons, a multi-tenanted office building, and Trackside with Wilton Center and several residential communities immediately south of the center of town. Currently, to get from the train station to Wilton Center (a distance of only about 500  feet), pedestrians must walk a circuitous route of nearly one mile along steeply sloped roadways and a heavily traveled section of Route 7.

Mr. Brennan acknowledged this was the fourth grant application for the project, going back to 2006. “The most important thing to recognize is that persistence paid off,” he said.