Retaining wall will pave way for Founder's Walk

There has been plenty of activity behind the Milford Public Library this week, where a retaining wall is being constructed between an abandoned road and the harbor area.

Trees and plants were removed along the old portion of road and a trench dug for the retaining wall.

This is the site where the city will next begin constructing a Founder’s Walk, which will replace the stretch of abandoned road next to the Fowler building with attractive ground cover, historic markers and other amenities.

The project may be completed as early as spring if all goes well.

The city has received donations, plus $300,000 in state funds toward the project, and there is another $250,000 in city sidewalk funds that will be used on the walkway. Former state Rep. James Maroney, who is heading the Founder's Walk project, said there are not firm figures for the project but it is expected to cost around $550,000.

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Maroney sees the walkway project as playing into the walkable city idea, which city officials discussed recently when they began working on plans to create a transit oriented development downtown near the train station.

Transit oriented developments are “sweeping the nation,” according to a transit oriented development website, TOD.org, creating walkable city areas where people don’t have to rely so heavily on cars for transportation.

The project was delayed somewhat because of state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection plans to stabilize the embankment, which the agency is doing now.

The bank stabilization is to address natural erosion that occurred over the course of years and following several storms.