NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – It spans 84 miles from Massachusetts to New Haven, and soon the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail will be two blocks longer.
For years now, anyone walking, jogging, or biking on the Farmington Canal trail in New Haven has gotten as far as Temple Street and had to stop at the metal bars, but that is about to change.
Workers for C. J. Fucci Construction have only just begun, but already you can see the difference in the trench of the old canal between Whitney and Orange Streets.
“Right now, we’re in the clearing and grubbing stage, removing old growth, trash, debris, and soon to be removing train tracks that are down in there, buried under the soil,” explained Chris Kane, a superintendent with C. J. Fucci.
Eventually, that block will look like the rest of the trail: Paved and landscaped, with lights at night. Another block of the trail goes under Temple Street and an apartment building through an old tunnel. Adding these two new blocks to the trail has taken a long time.
“When you’re doing tunnels, it’s just always more complicated and we ended up having to get multiple bids, “said mayor Justin Elicker (D – New Haven). “The bids came in too high, so it took a lot longer than we expected.”
The trench will slope up to allow easy access to the corner of Grove and Orange, right where new buildings and businesses are opening. The process will take another year, but already has the interest of neighbors.
“Even on the couple days that we’ve been here, people have been coming and showing interest and saying, ‘Oh, thank God, the next section,” said Kane. “Yeah, it’s exciting.”
Once the trail slopes up to Grove Street, it technically continues on down to Long Wharf. However, it has to do that on city streets. Following the path of the old canal would take it right into the FBI building, and they don’t want people walking through there.