“This is very exciting for the City of Bridgeport and especially the neighborhood of Black Rock. This project is transformative. It will increase property values and bring people out to the beautiful nature that is all around us.” – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch
Bridgeport, Conn. (June 4, 2015) – Today, Mayor Bill Finch joined state Rep. Steven Stafstrom Thursday to tour the site of the future Ash Creek Pedestrian Bridge, which will connect the Black Rock neighborhood to the Fairfield Metro train station.
This week, the city secured $3.8 million in Connecticut Department of Transportation funding to build the new bridge over Ash Creek.
“This is very exciting for the City of Bridgeport and especially the neighborhood of Black Rock. This project is transformative,” said Mayor Finch. “It will increase property values and bring people out to the beautiful nature that is all around us. People can’t wait to be able to walk over the bridge to the train station instead of having to drive all the way around.
“It makes me feel great that Bridgeport is able to work together as a team on projects that will make the quality of life better for everyone,” he stated.
Click here to watch video of the event: http://bit.ly/1FWxeVI.
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Click here for a rendering of the pedestrian bridge: http://bit.ly/1SYJdsu.
The 160-foot steel truss bridge will provide greater access for Bridgeporters to the Fairfield Metro train station and commuters to Black Rock restaurants and shops. With a walkway width of 14 feet the bridge will be a safe and convenient improvement to Bridgeport’s transit-oriented development.
“This bridge really is a critical linchpin for the neighborhood in terms of providing access to the train and from the train to allow commuters both out of the neighborhood and into the neighborhood,” said Representative Stafstrom. “Our business district is really just a stone’s throw away.”
In addition to the bridge structure, there will be improvement to the Creek trail. The 650 foot walkway extending Canfield Ave creates a pedestrian greenway along current dead ends from Fox Street to Davidson St. This will significantly increase the quarter mile walkshed to the Fairfield Metro train station and create a scenic greenway along Ash Creek. The trail work will also eradicate existing invasive plant species and create upland meadow vegetation.
“Our city is making significant investments in transit oriented development, which helps us create jobs and grow businesses by ensuring transportation is readily available for folks within Connecticut and the Greater New York City area,” Mayor Finch added. “Between investing in a second train station, improving our downtown train station, and giving pedestrians access to the Fairfield Metro station, Bridgeport is clearly getting better every day. Transit oriented development, business growth, and train station improvements are playing a key role. Thanks to Gov. Malloy and state leaders for their generosity in helping us continue to make smart investments in Bridgeport’s future.”
The project also includes improvement to Fox Street in anticipation of the increase in pedestrian and bicycle activity from Fairfield Avenue to the bridge site. The work includes reconstruction of sidewalks and curbs along with the planting of street trees. There is also potential to extend the existing bicycle route from Fairfield Ave to the bridge.
On the Bridgeport side of the bridge, there will be a gateway plaza constructed to connect to the bridge. On the Fairfield side, there will be work to help connect the wetlands walking trail and the train station.
The area is an invaluable natural resource that has a long history with the Bridgeport and Fairfield community. The city of Bridgeport is thankful to the state for investing in the environment around the bridge.
“As a kid, my sister and I used to make traps to catch mummie bait fish for crab fishing here at Ash Creek,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “I spent many warm afternoons here enjoying its natural beauty. I have always considered Ash Creek to be another great Bridgeport park and I’m proud that we are investing to ensure the area is clean and open to the public.”