In the planning stages for years, one shoreline community is getting a certified bike path to the beach.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation told Eyewitness News the investment is all about parking and other improvements to the Sound View Beach area of Old Lyme.
The popular summertime destination is getting a $750,000 makeover, courtesy of the state Department of Transportation.
Hartford Avenue, which is only 50 feet wide, will be the final stop of a four-mile bike path.
"We've got bump outs,” Old Lyme First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder said. “We've got parking spaces and bump outs."
The bike path will start at the Baldwin Bridge over the Connecticut River and down Route 156.
Reemsnyder said the improvements, which are funding by the DOT, will also improve parking and widen the sidewalks for foot traffic.
"To make it safe, to make it reasonable, to make this street aesthetically pleasing those bump outs are an important part of this,” Reemsnyder said.
The installation of bump-outs also takes away about 22 parking spaces, which upset local business owners.
"Some businesses are (upset) but when you look at the total parking that there is in the area,” Reemsnyder said. “Right now, there are 371 parking spaces between the town lot, private lots and business parking."
"I understand where they're coming from, it's nice to have pet projects and stuff like that, but at the same time it's a little counter-intuitive with what meets the eye,” business owner Evan Rowe said.
There used to be parking on both sides of Hartford Avenue. Then diagonal parking was installed along with kiosks. Designated bike paths will be marked on the road.
While the DOT has not yet signed off on the final plans, construction is expected to begin after Labor Day.
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