Grant may cover entire one-mile stretch of Redding's NRVT

Representatives of the Norwalk River Valley Trail went to the Redding Board of Selectmen on Monday to announce they are planning on applying for a federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant.

The grant, Friends of the NRVT in Redding chair Stuart Green said, may fund Redding’s entire one-mile portion of the trail.

The NRVT appears to be the perfect match for the federal government’s TAP grant as a community-accessible trail largely following the path of the never-used Super Seven corridor. The corridor was once designated as an area to place a divided highway alternative to Connecticut Route 7.

The grant specifically seeks to fund “projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways,” including “recreational trail program projects.”

The Town of Redding is required to be the requesting authority for this grant, which carries a restriction that the applicant must fund 20% of the costs of the project.

However, Green said Monday that the NRVT is willing to supply the town with the 20% requirement itself, so the cost to the town would be negligible.

This grant would specifically provide funding for the Redding portion of the NRVT. The trail, in its entirety, will eventually stretch from Norwalk to Danbury — providing a true transportation alternative to Route 7.

Green has said previously that “the Norwalk River Valley Trail will traverse land originally purchased by the state for a Super 7 highway from Norwalk to Danbury. Planning for this 10-foot wide, multi-use trail has been ongoing for a number of years and has finally reached the implementation stage.

“The thirty-eight mile long trail system will welcome hikers, joggers, cyclists, grandparents strolling with their grandchildren, parents pushing strollers and those just out to walk their pet. Many sections will meet accessibility standards and we are planning for equestrian use in Redding.”