With a goal of fostering growth and development, a $2.3 million plan to enhance Branchville with a new sidewalk and a foot bridge will be unveiled at a virtual public information meeting next Wednesday, July 15, starting at 6 p.m.

“Residents, business owners, commuters, and other interested individuals are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about and discuss this project,” says an invitation emailed out by First Selectman Rudy Marconi’s office.

“The public informational meeting is being held to afford a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning this proposed project.”

The meeting will be available on the town’s website, on Comcast Cable TV public access channel 24, and through a Microsoft Team Meeting (See below).

There will be a 14-day period following next Wednesday’s meeting, during which comments may be emailed to Marconi’s office.

The long-planned “Branchville Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Pedestrian Improvements Project” is a joint federal, state and local project that is designed to make Branchville’s small commercial area more pedestrian friendly. The area involved includes the intersection of Route 102 and Route 7, south on Route 7 to the Ridgefield-Wilton town line, and a short way up Route 102 (Branchville Road) to Florida Road.

The main focus would on the west side of Route 7, where commercial development looks across the highway at the Branchville train station.

Here’s a description provided with selectmen’s the invitation:

“The proposed project includes the creation of a continuous, accessible sidewalk down the west side of U.S. Route 7 approximately from the bridge over the Norwalk River south to the Ridgefield town line and along the north side of Route 102 from Ethan Allen Highway to Florida Road. The project also includes a pedestrian bridge over Cooper Pond Brook.

“Based upon a preliminary assessment, the construction cost will be approximately $2,300,000. The Federal Highway Administration will provide 80% of the construction cost with the Town providing 20%.”

That puts the town’s projected cost at about $460,000.

“...Preliminary design has been completed by the Town of Ridgefield and the project is planned for construction under the Transportation Alternatives component of the Federal Surface Transportation Program overseen by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.” Marconi’s office said.

Another separate project is also in the works to replace the bridges over The Norwalk River at either end of Branchville Train Station, the Depot Road Bridge and the Portland Avenue Bridge, with the Portland Avenue intersection at the south end of the train station getting a traffic light on Route 7.

The invitation to Wednesday’s meeting includes a link for joining a “microsoft teams meeting.”

The release from the selectmen’s office says:

“The Town will conduct a virtual public informational meeting on Wednesday, July 15, at 6 p.m. using Microsoft TEAMS at the following link: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

“Please note that in addition the Town is also planning to broadcast this meeting on Comcast channel 24 and on the town website www.ridgefieldct.org.”

The invitation also outlines special accommodations for people with difficulty accessing the meeting by computer or cable TV.

“Persons with limited internet access may request that project information is mailed to them by contacting Rudy Marconi, First Selectman, by email at selectman@ridgefieldct.org or by phone at 203-431-2774. (Allow one week for processing and delivery.) Individuals with limited internet access can listen to the meeting by calling 1-978-703-6483 and entering the Conference ID when prompted: 290 151 565#.

“Persons with hearing and/or speech disabilities may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). The live streams generally offer closed captioning for the hearing impaired and non-English translation options.

“There will be a 14-day comment period that follows the meeting, individuals may leave a question or comment via email (preferred) at selectman@ridgefieldct.org or via mail to Office of the First Selectman, Town of Ridgefield, 400 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

“Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Language Assistance Call Line 2/4 (860) 594-2109. Requests should be made at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance.

“Anyone interested in obtaining further information or providing input may do so by contacting Rudy Marconi, First Selectman, by email at selectman@ridgefieldct.org or by phone at 203-431-2774.”