Windsor Locks first selectman looks ahead to plans for new year

By Steven N. Wawruck, Jr. - Windsor Locks First Selectman
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Jan. 5, 2012
Windsor Locks First Selectman Steven N. Wawruck. File photo. - Contributed Photo

Looking forward to 2012, the year will be one of cautious optimism in Windsor Locks.

Two major projects - the relocation of the train platform to the center of town and the reconfiguration of the Route 20/75 exit ramp - are just about ready for implementation. The exit ramp project has been assigned a state project number and has been included on the state Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) listing, which means that the funding is in place to proceed with the project. If all goes as planned, the exit ramp will get underway late fall of 2012/spring of 2013. The reconfiguration of the exit ramp will allow access to the back parcels on Route 75 in back of the Ramada Inn, where a developer has previously submitted conceptual plans for a mixed-use, residential/business type development.

The train platform relocation should be announced after the beginning of the year, and this federal- and state-funded project will be the catalyst for future business growth on our Main Street corridor. The town also received a state Transit Oriented Development program grant in the amount of $250,000 to be used in the planning process of revitalizing the downtown area in conjunction with the relocation effort.

Another project that has been a focal point but never got the desired traction is the purchase/lease of the historic train station. Numerous meetings and correspondence with AMTRAK is encouraging, and surveys and legal documentation are being drawn up to present to the town. This effort, previously taken on by the now-defunct Preservation Association, has been championed by many over the years, and the town may soon be in a position to preserve this historic landmark. Conversations with the state DEEP have indicated that the STEAP grant of $225,000 is still intact to be used for this effort.

Another Capital project funded through the DECD Small Cities program in the amount of $500,000 was awarded to the town for the refurbishment of Fern Street and the eastern portion of Pearl Street, which will get underway in early spring. This project will be similar to the Olive/Pleasant project, which will replace all sanitary and storm drain lines, and the roadbed will be refurbished.

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