Composter & Rain Barrel Sale

Rain Barrel and Composter available in the sale

NVCOG is excited to offer area residents discounted rain barrels, composters, and accessories at our Spring 2021 sale.

In order to reduce shipping costs and offer the lowest possible prices, all items purchased from this online store must be picked up on Saturday, June 19, 2021. The online store will close on June 17th.

When placing your order below, you may choose one of the following times and locations to pick up your items:

1. Between the hours of 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM at Cheshire Town Hall, 84 South Main Street, Cheshire
 
2. Between the hours of 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM at the Southbury Parks and Recreation Department, 561 Main Street South, Southbury
 
The composter will be 33 inches tall by 33 inches wide once constructed. It comes in three pieces to easily fit in your vehicle. The rain barrel is 35 inches tall by 31 inches wide. It comes as one piece but still fits into a backseat of a sedan.
 
Please be sure you pick up your order, or send someone in your place, as we have very limited storage space. Unclaimed products will be donated to a local community garden program. We suggest planning your pick-up knowing that the rain barrel comes fully assembled and the composter comes in three pieces.
 
Directions for where to pick up your order can be found at the bottom of this page.  Any questions can be directed to compostersale@nvcogct.gov or call 203-489-0366.  
 
Happy Composting and Rainwater Harvesting!

Why Compost?

Organic materials are highly recyclable and should be thought of as a resource, not a waste. The goal of this program is to raise public awareness of composting at home and the benefits of using compost to reduce our waste footprint and help improve or maintain high-quality soil.

Composting kitchen food scraps and yard trimmings at home, and leaving grass clippings on the lawn, can reduce the volume of garbage you generate by as much as 25%!  Composting recycles organic waste into a usable product right in your own backyard. By adding compost to your gardens and lawns, you can conserve water, grow healthy plants, reduce the use of fertilizer and pesticides, and protect the environment.  Removing these materials from your regular trash collection also helps divert waste away from landfilling and waste to energy. A major benefit to composting is that you are helping your city or town reduce their disposal costs by reducing the amount of garbage being generated.  

Want to Learn More?

We hosted a virtual composting workshop led by a UConn Master Composter and you can watch the recording on the NVCOG YouTube Channel.

Resources provided from the composting workshop:

A Beginner’s Guide to Composting

UConn: 104 Items You Can Compost

Composting Questions Answered

Why Use a Rain Barrel?

Rain barrelCollecting and using rainwater for outdoor use saves energy, helps conserve drinking water, and reduces stormwater runoff.

The treatment and delivery of public drinking water are expensive and energy-intensive. Public water supplies and private well water are limited resources that can be depleted. Using collected rainwater for watering lawns, gardens, and potted plants and for washing off patio furniture and tools can reduce the economic and environmental impact of water treatment and delivery and helps keep water in reservoirs and aquifers for when it is needed most.

Collecting rainwater also helps reduce stormwater runoff that can transport many pollutants to our local waterways and cause erosion. From a gardening perspective, rainwater is better for plants than most tap water because it does not contain chlorine or fluoride. Water collected in rain barrels should not be used to drink or bathe and rain barrels should be emptied and stored throughout the winter months. 

Pick-Up Locations

Cheshire Town Hall
84 South Main Street, Cheshire

Southbury Parks and Recreation Department
561 Main Street South, Southbury

Any questions can be directed to compostersale@nvcogct.gov or call 203-489-0366.

NVCOG does not make any warranty or representation, expressed or implied, regarding the compost bins and rain barrels offered for sale by BrandBuilders, LLC. Purchasers must direct any questions, claims, or disputes regarding their purchase to BrandBuilders, LLC. Purchases that are not picked up at the scheduled pick-up date may be donated and used for educational purposes.

Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

**NEW** The Multi-Jurisdictional Document and Municipal Annexes have been been reviewed and accepted by FEMA and local adoptions are underway in all 19 NVCOG Municipalities.

In 2019, NVCOG received funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct a multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP) for all 19 NVCOG municipalities. 

An approved NHMP is required by FEMA to qualify a municipality for certain federal mitigation funding. NHMPs must be updated every 5 years. The purpose of this project is to update municipal NHMPs and develop a consolidated multijurisdictional plan for the entire Naugatuck Valley planning region in compliance with FEMA standards and requirements that will serve as the approved NHMP for each NVCOG municipality. 

Naugatuck River flooding in 1955

The NHMP will identify natural hazards and risks, existing capabilities, and activities that can be undertaken by a community to prevent loss of life and reduce property damages associated with the identified hazards. Public safety and property loss reduction are the driving forces behind this plan. Careful consideration will also be given to the preservation of history, culture and the natural environment of the region. 

Milone & MacBroom Inc. (MMI) was selected to serve as the project consultant. MMI has extensive experience developing NHMPs in the region and across the state.  NVCOG is administering the project and has prepared a detailed scope of work in collaboration with MMI. The project is expected to take 18 months and will include extensive public and stakeholder outreach and coordination with various municipal officials and departments.

Interactive Storymap:  

Click on the tabs at the top of the Project Storymap and scroll through the narrative to learn about hazards impacting the region and view topical maps.

Meetings and Workshops:

Public Information Meeting 8/4/2021
Recording
 
Public Workshop #2: Mitigation 
Recording
Slides
 
Coordinator Workshop #2: Mitigation
Recording
Slides
 
Public Workshop #1: Risk 
Slides
 
Coordinator Workshop #1: Risk
Recording 
Breakout Room Recording
Slides
 
Project Kickoff Meeting
Slides

Upcoming Meetings:

There are no upcoming events at this time.

View Full Calendar

Staff Contact:  

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

Image of virus molecules

During this time of uncertainty, NVCOG would like to provide the best information available for the residents of our nineteen communities. 

On this page, you can find links with information related to COVID-19 pandemic for:

  • Bus Transit, Commuter Rail, and Highway Updates
  • Resources for Businesses
  • Latest Press Releases and Executive Orders from Governor Lamont
  • Local Health Districts
  • Your Municipality’s COVID-19 Response web page
  • Federal Departments and Agencies

NVCOG Current Status

Employees are back in the office, however, we are limiting members of the public in the office due to physical distancing. Public meetings will have a virtual option for public viewing and participation.

Information Sources

Below are links to trusted agencies with status updates, resources for municipalities and businesses, and the best data on how to prevent coming into contact with the virus and what to do if you do come into contact with the virus.

Connecticut Coronavirus Call Center: 2-1-1
Please contact 211CT if in need of food, mental health, transportation or many other services.

Click on a heading below for the resources NVCOG has compiled.

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes funds for Connecticut governments to pay costs incurred in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) has established the Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Program to reimburse municipalities for such costs.

Rules on Use, Allowable Costs & Ineligible Costs and Program Overview

Program Forms, Fact Sheets, and Application Portal

Bristol-Burlington Health District (Bristol)

Chesprocott Health District (Cheshire, Prospect & Wolcott)

Naugatuck Valley Health District (Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour & Shelton)

Pomperaug Health District (Oxford, Southbury & Woodbury)

Torrington Area Health District (Bethlehem, Middlebury, Plymouth, Thomaston & Watertown)

Waterbury Department of Public Health

Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) news and resources

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) resources

Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) news and updates

Municipal Guidance Document #1 “Suspension of In Person Open Meeting Requirements”

Municipal Guidance Document #4 “Suspension of Tax Deadlines and Collection Efforts”

Municipal Guidance Document #5 “Suspension of In-Person Voting Requirements by the Public in the Municipal Budget Process”

Municipal Guidance Document #8 Index of Executive Orders Pertinent to Municipalities

Emergency Orders issued by the Governor and State Agencies

Executive Order No 700 “Protection of Public Health and Safety during COVID-19 Pandemic and Response – Procedures for Local Appointments and Elections Requiring In-Person Vote”

Governor Lamont’s Press Releases

Connecticut COVID-19 Data Tracker

Find a Test Center Near You including No-Cost COVID-19 Test Sites

Department of Public Health (DPH) resources

Department of Housing (DOH) Housing Notices and Orders regarding COVID-19

Connecticut State Department of Education Supporting Student Participation

Department of Social Services for SNAP and Child Support Services

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) resources for social distancing at state parks, beaches and more.

CT State Library for updates on local libraries.

Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection (4-CT) was launched as a non-profit that unites donors with state-wide programs that will help make an immediate impact.

CT DECD – Stop the Spread in English and Spanish.

CT CBIA – Reopen Connecticut resources and materials.

CDC – Print Resources web page with information covering a variety of topics.

Municipal Closures and Updates

Watch live updates on global and national counts of COVID-19 by Johns Hopkins University

Also see state-by-state testing trends by Johns Hopkins University.

2020 Census

Updated 2020 Census Timeline

After much deliberation, the 2020 Census has officially ended on October 15, 2020.

Timeline for Releasing Redistricting Data

If this were a typical decade, the Census Bureau would be on the verge of delivering the first round of redistricting data from the 2020 Census. The original plan was to deliver the data in state groupings starting Feb. 18, 2021, and finishing by March 31, 2021.  

However, COVID-19 delayed census operations significantly. Consistent with the previous census, the Census Bureau is focusing first on their constitutional obligation to deliver the state population counts for apportionment to the President by the deadline of April 30, 2021. This focus on meeting their constitutional obligation has delayed some of the processing activities necessary to generate the redistricting counts.   The Census Bureau expects to deliver the redistricting data to the states and the public by Sept. 30, 2021. 

This data delivery will be a single national delivery, rather than the originally-planned staggered delivery of redistricting data.  

This national delivery allows the Census Bureau to:

  • Ensure we are delivering the high-quality fit-for-use data products the states need for redistricting. 
  • Complete delivery to all states several weeks earlier than the last states would have otherwise received it.
  •  Better manage the production process.

The Census Bureau is acutely aware of the difficulties that this delayed delivery of the redistricting data will cause some states. Some states have statutory or even state constitutional deadlines and processes that they will have to address due to this delay.

See how many households in your community responded in the chart further down on this page. 

This was the first census offered online and over the phone. Most households received a mailing with instructions to participate online or by phone, while a more limited amount received mailings including a paper questionnaire, as well as the online or phone options.

Local organizations and municipal governments were willing to help you and your household get counted. 

Written response forms were available in English and Spanish.  Online response forms and over the phone had 12 languages available while residents can request video or written aids in 59 languages. Personnel is also available at regional offices for those to respond in person with American Sign Language.

Information needed to fill out the Census:

  • Your Census ID, located on your Census invitation.
  • Information for each person living in your home:
    • Names
    • Dates of Birth
    • Race & Ethnicity
Naugatuck Valley 2020 Census logo

Count Yourself in the Right Place.

In general, you should count yourself where you live and sleep most of the time. But pay attention if you are:

  • Completing Your Household’s Form. When responding, count any children, including newborns, who usually live and sleep at your home. If they split time between homes, count them where they were on April 1, 2020.
  • A Recent Mover. Count yourself at your new address if you were moved in by April 1, 2020.
  • A Renter. Count yourself where you live. Even if you don’t own the home, you need to participate. Don’t forget your family and roommates.
  • A College Student. You’ll be counted at your dorm since you live there most of the time. Even if you live off-campus, count yourself where you live and sleep the most of the time. This includes international students.
  • A Resident of a Group Facility. Census Bureau employees will work with representatives of the building to ensure you are counted. This includes nursing homes, group homes, shelters, and correctional facilities.

Census Materials

The following materials are online documents available for use on other websites or for printing purposes.

View this website in español. For more languages, click on “English” at the top of this page and select from the drop-down your preferred langauage.

For Your Safety

The Census Bureau will never ask for:

• Social Security numbers
• Bank or credit card account numbers
• Money or donations
• Anything on behalf of a political party
• Citizenship status

If a census taker comes to your home, they will have an ID with their photo, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. They will not ask to come in nor ask you to step outside.

If would like to avoid census takers coming to your door, fill out the Census online or by phone.

Report Suspected Fraud

Call the Census Bureau at 1-800-923-8282 or your local police department.

Helpful Links

United States Census homepage for all information on the upcoming Census and is available en español.

Connecticut Counts 2020 is the state’s go-to-page for 2020 Census events and materials.

U.S. Census Jobs for temporary positions needed to support three offices within Connecticut.

Naugatuck Valley Regional Profile is based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Staff Contact:

Richard Crowther Jr.

GIS Analyst

rcrowther@nvcogct.gov

Tracking Responses

Our goal is 100%, but a more realistic goal is a higher response rate than in 2010 and so far in the region, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bristol, Cheshire, Naugatuck, Oxford, Plymouth, Seymour, Shelton, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury have surpassed their 2010 self-response rates! Response rates are as of October 15, 2020. The total Enumerated in Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) for the State of Connecticut is 29.5%. Below are the self-response rates for each municipality in the region. Percentage rates and colors reflect those of the map from the U.S. Census Bureau below. 

Ansonia
0%
Beacon Falls
0%
Bethlehem
0%
Bristol
0%
Cheshire
0%
Derby
0%
Middlebury
0%
Naugatuck
0%
Oxford
0%
Plymouth
0%
Propsect
0%
Seymour
0%
Shelton
0%
Southbury
0%
Thomaston
0%
Waterbury
0%
Watertown
0%
Wolcott
0%
Woodbury
0%
Connecticut (Total Response Rate)
0%

This interactive dashboard displays delayed live counts of response rates for the 2020 Census provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Map of the completion rates for the Nonresponse Followup operation by Area Census Office.
Nonresponse Followup is the final 2020 Census data collection operation to count households that have not already responded online, by phone, or by returning their completed questionnaire.

Learning about each hard-to-survey area allows the U.S. Census Bureau to create a tailored communication and partnership campaign, and to plan for field resources including hiring staff with language skills. The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application was developed before the 2020 Census to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates available in the Planning Database. These and other efforts can improve response rates. Some of these hard-to-survey areas are in the Naugatuck Valley region .

Complete Count Committees

Naugatuck Valley Complete Count Committee Kickoff

Thank you to all of those who volunteered their time to get everyone in their community counted! When community members are informed, they are more likely to respond to the census. State and local governments; community based organizations; faith-based groups; schools; businesses; the media; and others play a key role in developing partners to educate and motivate residents to participate in the 2020 Census.

Municipalities and organizations in our region have formed Complete Count Committees in preparation of the 2020 Census:

  • City of Ansonia 
  • Town of Beacon Falls
  • Town of Bethlehem
  • City of Bristol
  • Town of Cheshire
  • City of Derby
  • Borough of Naugatuck
  • Town of Oxford
  • City of Waterbury
  • Naugatuck Valley Complete Count Committee
    • includes Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour & Shelton
  • Along with many organizations and businesses in the region.

Be prepared for the next census to see how you and your community can get involved with a Complete Count Committee.

When is it?

Census Day was April 1, 2020, but counting began before then.

The U.S. Census Bureau states “by not trying to capture a response from everyone in a single day, or even a single month, they will make sure everyone has a better user experience and the ability to complete the census on their own time.”

The Census is Safe and Simple

There were only nine questions on the census. They ask very basic demographic questions: who lives in the household; how they are related; their age, sex, and race; whether they own or rent their house; and their phone number. All personal information recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is not shared with any other department or branch of the government under federal law.  The data is summarized and distributed by census blocks at the smallest scale. 

The 2020 Census at a Glance

Once every decade, the federal government conducts a census of the entire population to count everyone in the United States and record basic information about them. Our nation’s founders believed this data was so important that they mandated the decennial census in the Constitution.

The census is much more than just a head count. It provides a picture of our nation that helps determine where to build new schools, hospitals, and businesses; how over $675 billion in federal funding is distributed; and how congressional seats are apportioned. It also helps us see how our communities have changed over time. That’s why an accurate count is so important. 

To see how much federal funding is relying on Census data, please refer to this study by George Washington University. Each program on the list relies on Census data to determine how much funding is distributed to each state.      Hint: its over $10 Billion each year!

Census Partnership Badge

Copy this image to post on your website to show support of the 2020 Census.

What Has Been Done in Preparation to the 2020 Census

NVCOG and its member municipalities participated in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Operation in the spring of 2018.  Only house and unit numbers with road and street names were used during this process. In the spring of 2018, all of our municipalities participated in this process, with NVCOG completing the work for 17 and assisting the other two. NVCOG submitted 4932 housing units and made 1972 address corrections.

In August 2019, we received feedback from the U.S. Census on the submission of new addresses and corrections. The Census Bureau has accepted 91% (4506) of the added units and 85% (1685) of corrections submitted. By using the regional average of 2.6 people per household, there are now an additional 11,700 people to be counted in April 2020.

Some of our municipalities participated in a chance to add more addresses to the Census’ address database.  Seven municipalities designated NVCOG to add new and planned residential construction from March 2018 (the time of the first LUCA Operation step) and any that will be habitable by April 1, 2020.  This process added another 271 addresses in the region. 

During the entire LUCA Operation, an additional 12,400 people can now be counted, hopefully gaining more federal support for the region.

In the spring of 2019, NVCOG participated in the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) to review and update selected statistical area boundaries for 2020 Census data tabulation, following U.S. Census Bureau guidelines and criteria.  We created an online map showing existing boundaries and proposed boundary changes.

The U.S. Census Bureau is Hiring

The U.S. Census Bureau is continuing it’s recruiting efforts to hire temporary, part-time census takers for the 2020 Census in communities across the state. The positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training, and weekly paychecks. To determine the pay rate in a specific area, learn more about these positions, or apply for one of these positions, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

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Regional Plan of Conservation and Development

Though there are legal reasons to write a Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), we think the practical ones are far more important. Learn more about POCD’s through the questions and answers below:

What is your current Regional Plan of Conservation and Development?

Current regional planning work is being guided by the three POCD’s from the three regional planning agencies which consolidated as the NVCOG in 2015: the Valley Council of Governments, the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, and the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency.

What is a Regional Plan of Conservation and Development? 

The Regional Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) is the NVCOG’s advisory policy document on the future physical development of the region. The POCD addresses planning issues which transcend municipal boundaries, such as water supply, economy, housing and transportation, presents a metropolitan perspective, and recommends general policies that will guide the NVCOG region’s residents and decision makers in responding to future change. 

Why prepare a regional POCD? 

Legal reason: State Statute 8-35a mandates that regional council of governments prepare such a plan at least once every ten years. 

Practical reason: We live in a regional community. Each city and town in the NVCOG region relies on each other for employment, housing, retail, healthcare, and other services and needs. The regional POCD provides planning linkages between towns and cities and offers policies to more efficiently coordinate development to improve its residents’ quality of life. 

How will the Plan be used? 

The Plan will guide NVCOG in setting priorities, reviewing state, regional and local proposals, implementing programs, and assisting member communities. 

Relationship between Local, Regional and State Plans? 

LOCAL: Each municipality in the region has a local POCD. These plans address local issues and are connected to local zoning codes.

STATE: At the State level, its POCD is much broader in scope. State POCD recommendations guide major state initiatives and local and regional projects involving state funding in excess of $200,000.

REGIONAL: The Regional Plan falls between the two, more specific than the State Plan and more general than the local plans. Furthermore, State statutes require a review of consistency between a municipal plan and regional and state POCD’s. Because the municipal plan is connected to zoning, it is typically the most influential. For this reason, the Regional POCD places a great deal of emphasis on local plans and zoning. 

When will you update the POCD? 

The NVCOG staff and Regional Planning Commission is currently in the process of reviewing the three regional POCD’s to create one new NVCOG POCD.  Please check back to this page for NVCOG POCD progress updates and latest drafts. 

I want to tell you what I think about the Regional POCD’s! 

And we want to hear from you! We are in the process of creating an online survey and setting a schedule for public workshops and informational meetings 

Staff Contact:  

Joanna Rogalski
Senior Regional Planner
jrogalski@nvcogct.gov

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Derby-Shelton Bridge Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enhancements

Derby Shelton Bridge design

Project Background 

The Derby-Shelton Bridge carries Bridge Street (State Road 712) over the Housatonic River between Downtown Shelton and Downtown Derby. The bridge is a primary crossing of the Housatonic River within the Naugatuck Valley Region and is a critical element of the regional infrastructure. The bridge was built in 1918 and is historically significant. While the substructure is in good condition, many elements have deteriorated over time, including the pavement structure, parapet walls, and lighting.  

The intent of the project is to renovate and rehabilitate the elements along the top of the bridge and enhance the bridge’s aesthetics. Because it connects two downtowns, there is an opportunity to improve not only its function but also its form and create an aesthetically pleasing public space for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project limits extend from the intersection with Route 34 (Main Street) in Derby to the west end of the Derby-Shelton Bridge and includes the connections to Canal Street. 

The project is being designed by AECOM under contract to the NVCOG. Construction will be advertised and administrated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).   

Project Elements 

The proposed improvements to the bridge include adding a second through travel lane in the eastbound direction, installing of a two-cycle track for bicyclists, and creating a wider pedestrian plaza. In addition, existing deteriorated elements will be replaced and upgraded.   

The project will include: 

  • The replacement of bridge parapet walls. The proposed new parapet will be a concrete wall and mimic the style of the existing wall to adhere to its historic context. A decorative railing will be placed on top of the new parapet to increase its height to ensure pedestrian safety. The railing will be of the same style and pattern as the railing at Veterans Memorial Park in Shelton.  
  • Various roadway improvements including the addition of a second eastbound travel lane and the replacement of the bituminous pavement surface and the underlying concrete deck.  The shoulders, which are very wide today, will be narrowed to permit the additional travel. The intersection at Route 34 (Main Street) in Derby will be shifted slightly and the lane arrangement will be changed to permit a separate right turn lane. 
  • The creation of a larger pedestrian space on the south side and a bi-directional cycle-track to separate bicyclists from both vehicular traffic and pedestrians. Textured pavement and buffers with planters will help define these spaces. The cycle-track and pedestrian plaza will link with the Derby Greenway and Shelton’s RiverWalk. 
  • The removal of existing “Cobra-style” lighting. Period style, decorative lights will be installed along the bridge on top of the parapet walls. These lights will enhance the presence of the bridge at night and comply with dark sky guidelines. The new lighting will be designed to complement the new lights that will be installed as part of the Route 34 (Main Street) reconstruction project to create a consistent and cohesive environment. 

Status of Project

The final design has been completed and the project has been advertised for construction and awarded to Mohawk Northeast, Inc. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2021.  

The project plans were also updated to include the extension of the cycle track and pedestrian walkway down the southeast ramp to Canal Street. The ramp has been permanently closed to motor vehicles. Access to Bridge Street from Canal Street has been routed to the new roadway through the former Spongx property that now houses the Canal Street Lofts Building. 

The Design Team successfully worked with CTDOT to incorporate accent lighting to the bridge in order to illuminate the bridge at night.

Public Information Meeting

A meeting was held on February 26, 2020, to provide updated project details to residents, commuters, business owners, and other interested individuals. Click here for minutes from the February 26 meeting. 

Bridge Street Proposed Typical Sector Crosssection Drawing
Bridge Street Proposed Typical Sector Crosssection Drawing
Derby-Shelton Bridge Nighttime view from the south.
Proposed Bridge Street Intersection
Proposed Bridge Street Intersection

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Route 8 & Waterbury Branch Line Corridor/Alternative Modes Study

Beacon Falls/Seymour Workshop

A Study of options to reduce congestion and increase mobility throughout the Route 8 and Waterbury Branch Rail Line corridors. 

About the Study

The Route 8 & Waterbury Branch  Line Corridor/Alternative Modes Study is assessing the needs and opportunities for improving service on the Waterbury Branch Line and the feasibility of alternatives to single occupancy vehicles. These alternative modes include commuter rail, express bus and Bus Rapid Transit, walking and biking. The project is being led by AECOM Technical Services, Inc. The study Team has completed an overview of existing travel conditions within the corridor, an assessment of transit-oriented development opportunities within rail station areas, and the feasibility of instituting BRT service. A website has been set up to provide project details. Click here to access the Alt Modes Study website.

Transit Rider Input

In support of the study goals and objectives, the NVCOG conducted an on-board count and survey of passengers riding the Waterbury branch line trains. All inbound and outbound trains were counted and surveyed over a three-day period.  The goals of the survey were to gain insight into the key concerns passengers have with quality and frequency of service.

Take a look at what the riders had to say about train service in the Naugatuck Valley: WBL Passenger Count Summary.

Transit Oriented Development 

Aimportant task of the study was determining the feasibility of Transit-Oriented Developments (TOD) in vicinity of the Waterbury rail line stations. A TOD integrates land use, transportation, and the environment and results in new housing, jobs, and more sustainable and walkable communities. They are characterized by compact, mixed-use land uses that  provide a wide range of housing styles and commercial space choices. To guide the assessment, the study team conducted a series of workshops in each community along the rail line and developed a Visual Preference Survey that allowed residents to describe how they would like to see their downtowns in the future. From these preference surveys, model TOD blocks were created. To read more about possible TOD scenarios in the Naugatuck Valley: TOD Scenario Report.   

Bus Rapid Transit or BRT 

While the primary objective of the study is to improve and enhance service on the Waterbury line, other transiactions were also explored. Regular fixed-route bus services operate in the corridor, but they do not provide travel time efficiencies that commuters find attractive. A BRT operation blends the positive features of rail with the flexibility of bus transit, to make riding the bus a higher-end service alternative. The study team explored the merits of enhancing bus service between Derby and Bridgeport, identifying five possible alternatives. The preferred option included the construction of a dedicated busway within the median of Route 8 with limited stops at newly created transit hubs. Feeder bus services would be implemented to move travelers from the transit hubs to their final destinations. This action is considered a long term vision for the corridor. To learn more about BRT in Naugatuck Valley:  BRT Scenario Report.   

Next Steps… 

The study is advancing to the final recommendations with a focus on a capital and operations improvement plan for the Waterbury Rail Line and a long-term vision of developing a Bus Rapid Transit system along Route 8 between Derby and Bridgeport. A visualization of recommended services is being developed and the study team will be meeting with municipal representatives to promote TOD land uses.  

In the meantime, the NVCOG is working with its mayors and first selectmen and its state legislative delegation to support funding for needed short-term Waterbury rail line improvements.  In January 2020, NVCOG held the Naugatuck Valley Rail Conference to engage stakeholders in a dialog about the region’s rail needs.   

Watch statewide news coverage of the event here.

Staff Contact: 

Mark Nielsen
Director of Planning/Assistant Director
mnielsen@nvcogct.gov

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