Wilton to extend the Norwalk River Valley Trail by nearly a mile

WILTON — The Norwalk River Valley Trail will be extended nearly a mile up through northern Wilton after town officials recently approved a $3 million plan by the Friends of NRVT to build the new section.

The plan calls for adding a 0.9 mile piece from where it currently ends at Skunk Lane. It is now expected to end near Cannondale Station. The expansion was originally presented to the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, which approved sending the plan to the state for approval, said Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, who also serves as WestCOG's treasurer. 

The $3 million will be covered by a grant through the state's Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program.

"The town collaborated with the NRVT on the grant and while the grant was awarded to the town, the NRVT will manage the construction of the trail," Vanderslice said. "Director of Public Works Head Frank Smeriglio will oversee the administration of the grant."

Wilton's finance department will spend and track the money, Vanderslice added.

The Board of Finance was the last to approve the grant, following the Board of Selectmen's approval. Smeriglio also reviewed the grant prior to signing off.

"State of Connecticut LOTCIP grants are for transportation-related projects," Vanderslice said. "Alternative transportation, which includes trails, is being prioritized by the state and federal governments."

Vanderslice said the NRVT is important to serve Wilton residents, as well as attract others to town.

"The NRVT is one of the most popular recreational amenities in Wilton and attracts residents from outside of Wilton," she said. "Once completed within Wilton, employees working in Wilton at companies along the trail, such as ASML, will be able to bike, walk or run to work from a residence close to the trail or in Wilton Center and may bike, walk or run from the Wilton Train Station to work."

Vanderslice said she does not anticipate any additional costs and would be covered by the Friends of NRVT if contingencies are needed.

The town previously worked with the City of Norwalk to attain state funding in early 2021 to work on the WilWalk section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail.

A timetable for the project wasn't immediately available.