Town Council approves Pepper Street upgrade

The $6m project would be 90% funded by outside sources

The Town Council has approved a project to upgrade parts of Pepper Street. The purpose is to improve public safety and to make the upper part of the road more appropriate for an area with industrial activity.

The town will pay about $500,000 of the $6 million cost, with state and federal funds picking up most of the cost.

The Pepper Street reconstruction project isn’t expected to start until 2015.

First Selectman Stephen J. Vavrek said the road will be “straightened out” to improve sight lines, widened in certain areas, and a turning lane added. He said this should boost the industrial park.

Vavrek and some Town Council members noted the current design of upper Pepper Street includes some dips in the road that can make it hard to see trucks, endangering employees of local businesses in particular because they must regularly drive in and out of their workplaces.

“You take your life in your hands — it’s a valley,” Vavrek said.

Some questions were raised about wording in the grant agreement. But in a written opinion, Town Attorney Jack Fracassini recommended approval of the project while noting some minor concerns about a few conditions involved in accepting the outside funds.

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