Town leaders on Thursday celebrated the completion of a streetscape project they hope will make the center of Avon better for pedestrians.
The $1.1 million project was focused around the intersection of routes 44 and 10. New sidewalks were built along both roads and decorative pedestrian lighting was installed as well. The final phase extended the sidewalks and lights north up Route 10 from Sperry Park to the Simsbury town line and it was completed recently.
To mark the completion of the project, which was done in four phases starting in 2008, town officials and others held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sperry Park on Thursday.
People can now easily walk from businesses on East and West Main streets to the Riverdale Farms shopping plaza on Route 10. Lisa Bohman, director of the Avon Chamber of Commerce, said she is happy to see that kind of connection being made for pedestrians.
“We are excited for have the additional exposure and to have people come visit,” said Terry Brighenti, whose family owns the Riversdale plaza as well as the building on Route 10 that houses the Avon Wellness Center. The sidewalks run along that building, too. The Brighenti family gave easements to the town for the new sidewalks.
Town council Chairman Mark Zacchio said the sidewalks and lights will complement a town center redevelopment project that is in the works and will include an area along Route 10.
People may soon be able to walk from the intersection of routes 10 and 44 into Simsbury. Town Manager Brandon Robertson said a sidewalk being built along Route 10 in that town is expected to connect with the one that Avon has just built.
Robertson said the work in Avon stemmed from planning done in 2005 and eventually incorporated into the town’s plan of conservation and development.
“The intent was to create a sense of place and make the area more walkable,” Robertson said about the plan.
Almost all of the funding for the work came through grants from the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program.