Workers from Butler Construction dress the hillside with soil at Chet’s Pond next to the finished Tabor trail section.

The Town of Branford will open the newest segment of the Shoreline Greenway Trail—the roughly three-quarter-mile-long Tabor section connecting Pine Orchard Road with Tabor Drive in Branford—with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, September 22.

The ceremony will take place beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Tabor section’s western  trailhead off Tabor Drive. U.S. Rep Rosa DeLauro and Branford First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove will be featured speakers. DeLauro was a co-sponsor of federal “earmarks” that in 2005 provided initial funding for the Shoreline Greenway Trail in East Haven, Branford, Guilford and Madison.  Cosgrove represents the Town of Branford, which has supported implementation of the federal funding to develop this section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.

The 3,725-foot Tabor section is 10 feet wide, is paved with asphalt, and has a two-foot-wide grass shoulder, meeting AASHTO standards for multiuse trails. It passes by scenic Chet’s Pond and provides a convenient and safe-from-traffic shortcut between the Pine Orchard neighborhood and Montowese Street just south of downtown. The section has been largely complete, and pedestrians and bicyclists have been using it, since late spring.

An s-curve at roughly the midpoint of the Tabor section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail

The opening of the segment extends the Branford off-road portion of the Shoreline Greenway Trail, which connects Pine Orchard Road and Birch Road, traverses Young’s Pond Park and includes the Stony Creek Trolley Trail. It is expected to ultimately be part of a four-mile trail, mostly off-road, between Branford center and Stony Creek village.

Construction of the Tabor section cost just under $468,000, with 80 percent paid by U.S. Department of Transportation funds provided under the earmark and the balance covered by a State of Connecticut bond match. The Town of Branford was able to use town-owned land and provided in-kind labor. SGT volunteers and members of Boy Scout Troop 428 also pitched in. Former Branford Town Engineer Janice Plaziak shepherded the project; construction, which began in October 2017, was done by Butler Construction of Portland, Connecticut. Outdoor retailer REI provided a grant for directional signage, bollards (short, vertical posts) and stop signs. SGT volunteers will help the Town of Branford maintain the trail.

The Shoreline Greenway Trail is a project to build a trail and connect communities in a 25-mile corridor from New Haven to Madison, improving bicycle and pedestrian accessibility within and between towns. The Tabor section is the first application of the federal funds to further the four towns’ development of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.