State won’t pay for sidewalk improvements in Pawcatuck

STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The stretch of Route 1 between Stonington High School and downtown Pawcatuck is a busy one and some say there needs to be sidewalks along the entire section.

“We have title aid housing, affordable housing, senior housing, the police station, human services department, and the high school,” said Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons.

Last fall, Simmons received a letter from the Department of Housing ‘congratulating’ the town and saying its application for up to $500,000 in funding from the Main Street Investment Fund program had been approved. But on Monday, another letter came.

downtown pawcatuck 1 State wont pay for sidewalk improvements in Pawcatuck
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“We’re sorry, no money,” said Simmons as he held up the letter.

The General Assembly reduced bonding for the Main Street Investment fund from $8 million to $2 million so now there’s no money for Stonington’s sidewalk.

“It would have covered all of the engineering work and all of the prep work,” said Simmons.

stonington sidewalks 2 State wont pay for sidewalk improvements in Pawcatuck
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

He’s hoping the state will reconsider. In the meantime, students, seniors, and others may have to share the road with cars where the sidewalks end.

“You only have a really small part of the walkway to walk because there are no sidewalks,” said John Bertino of Pawcatuck.

In 2016, a Pawcatuck man in a motorized wheelchair was struck by a car on Route 1 near Mayflower Avenue and was killed. His family said it planned to sue the town because it claimed he was forced onto the street because of the condition of the sidewalk.

“We need this road to be safe,” said Simmons.

stonington sidewalks 1 State wont pay for sidewalk improvements in Pawcatuck
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

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