In a recent interview with LymeLine, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder stated, “The Old Lyme town government has been attempting to pursue renovations of the Sound View beach since May of 2013.” The desired outcome of the renovations will be a bike path that leads from exit 70 on the Baldwin Bridge following I-95, down Rte. 156 to Hartford Avenue.
This will lead bikers to what will be the new parking lot. The community lot on Hartford Avenue, across from Sound View beach, will be redeveloped into a picnic area. The lot will maintain 44 parking spaces, and the rest will be transformed into grassy regions for a more park-like feel. The town was awarded a grant to revitalize the area, with instructions for the money to be put into specific stages.
The federal grant covers up to 80 percent of the project, and the town is responsible for the remaining 20 percent. The amount of $148,500 has already been approved by the grant, but the construction costs will be determined after the design phase is complete.
The first stage is for engineers to “complete the ‘picture’ of the final product,” noted Reemsnyder. They will draw up designs for the park area. These documents will then go to contractors, who will decide on the cost of the project. The bike path will need to be mapped and signed off as well. Once all of the designs for the park and path are finalized and approved, the second stage of the project can begin.
The second stage is construction, which is projected to start in the fall of 2015. Town meetings will be held at various points throughout the project, such as the one on Wednesday,July 16, which “went well” according to Reemsnyder. Before construction can begin, the allocation for construction cost funds will need to be approved at one of these town meetings.
The revitalization is hoped to enhance tourism, improve business, and connect the beach to the rest of the town in a more accessible and friendly manner.
On the town website, under current projects, there is a link to more information regarding the proposal.