The Putnam Bridge connecting Glastonbury and Wethersfield over the Connecticut River is up for a major renovation providing a golden opportunity to finally add bike lanes and a walkway to this 52- year-old bridge. ConnDOT is planning a $33 million rehabilitation project to fix safety and structural deficiencies with construction starting in 2012 and completed in 2013. The estimated construction cost of this bridge project is $33 million with 80% coming from federal funding and 20% from state funding.
Historically, there has not been any pedestrian or bike access over the Putnam Bridge but ConnDOT staff, town officials, and bike/pedestrian advocates now are working together to develop a plan for linking the two sides of the Connecticut River for people who want to walk or bike between the two communities. It would allow people to ride from Somerset Square in Glastonbury to Old Wethersfield town center. The Putnam Bridge is also a critical piece of a larger bike route for people who want to commute to Hartford by bike.
The town councils in Glastonbury and Wethersfield have unanimously approved resolutions supporting the idea, and support has come from the Capitol Region Council of Governments, Bike Walk CT, Glastonbury Bikeways and Goodwin College in East Hartford.
At recent public meetings, ConnDOT stated that there is limited space and no funds yet allocated for bike/pedestrian access on the Putnam Bridge. ConnDOT has determined that the rehabilitated bridge can support a six foot wide sidewalk on just one side of the bridge at a construction cost of $5-$10 million. ConnDOT has informed the towns and public that this amount does not include funding for construction of the town-side approaches to the bridge sidewalk, an undertaking that ConnDOT states is the responsibility of the towns, not the state. That's troubling to hear when we have a Governor who stresses bike/pedestrian initiatives as a priority for Connecticut's transportation infrastructure and a state legislature that passed the Complete Streets law in 2009 that requires 1% of all new transportation projects to be dedicated to bike/ped improvements.
Take action and tell the decision makers how you feel. Their email addresses are:
- Scott A. Hill, DOT's manager of bridges and facilities: firstname.lastname@example.org
- State Rep. Jason Rojas: email@example.com
- State Rep. Russ Morin: firstname.lastname@example.org
- State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan: email@example.com
- State Sen. Paul Doyle: firstname.lastname@example.org
- State Sen. Steve Cassano: email@example.com