Richard Donovan
Transportation Planning Director
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

$5.7 Million RAISE Grant for Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Development

(Waterbury, CT) – On June 26, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO) will receive a $5.7 million grant under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program to advance the development of the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail. The project’s intent is to improve safety, environmental sustainability, and quality of life in the Naugatuck Valley Planning Region. Program funds were awarded through the efforts and support from Congresswomen Jahana Hayes and Rosa DeLauro, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

The CNVMPO, as the federally designated transportation planning organization for the towns included in the study, is excited to advance this critical transportation asset within the region. As the host agency of the CNVMPO, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) will manage the award and ensure completion of the project.

The NVCOG will use the RAISE grant funding to fully design approximately 6.2 miles of the NRG trail in Naugatuck, Waterbury, Watertown, and Thomaston, and support the completion of plans for about 5.8 miles of the trail that have advanced to design. The project area extends from Breen field in Naugatuck to East Main Street in downtown Thomaston, covering 16.9 miles. Three sections of NRG Trail within this corridor have been completed. In addition, a section in Waterbury is being designed and will be constructed with federal funds awarded under a 2022 RAISE grant. The recently announced award will result in all sections in the project segment to be fully designed, setting up the municipalities and region for future funding requests to construct the trail. A proactive public engagement process will be conducted to ensure that public and stakeholder input is considered during trail routing and design phases. The project will complete a full environmental analysis of the proposed trail.

The Naugatuck River Greenway is a 44-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail that will connect 11 Naugatuck River communities: Torrington, Litchfield, Harwinton, Thomaston, Watertown, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia, and Derby. The NRG is an officially designated Connecticut State Greenway. To learn more about the NRG, please visit

Development of the NRG Trail will rejuvenate historic downtowns, enhance recreational access to the Naugatuck River, promote sustainable transportation, boost tourism, stimulate economic development, address environmental justice issues, and improve the quality of life and health of residents, especially in underserved communities.

“We are excited to receive this RAISE grant. It is a significant milestone in advancing the NRG Trail project and will allow us to address the critical challenges along the project corridor in a coordinated and regional manner,” said Mark Nielsen, NVCOG Assistant Director. “This funding will also move the region closer to realizing the vision of a long-distance trail along the Naugatuck River that will provide significant economic, health and environmental benefits and connect several of our communities with a safe, non-motorized transportation option.”

“We are grateful for the efforts of Congresswomen Jahana Hayes and Rosa DeLauro, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, in securing approval from USDOT Secretary Buttigieg. We also thank our state partners for their critically important support, including Mark Boughton, the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Infrastructure, Katie Dykes, CTDEEP Commissioner, and Garrett Eucalitto, CTDOT Commissioner,” said Rick Dunne, NVCOG Executive Director. “With these funds, we can advance crucial environmental assessments and design plans, ensuring the NRG Trail becomes a transformative asset for our communities.”

About the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG):
The NVCOG facilitates collaboration among the Mayors and Selectpersons of 19 member municipalities to maximize resources, advance shared goals, and address common challenges confronting their communities. Member municipalities include Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bristol, Cheshire, Derby, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Seymour, Shelton, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury.

In addition to serving as the state designated regional planning agency, the NVCOG is responsible for the federal transportation planning process as the host agency for the Central Naugatuck Valley MPO and co-host of the Greater Bridgeport and Valley MPO.

About the Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO):
The Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization oversees transportation planning in the Waterbury area, ensuring a coordinated approach to regional development. The CNVMPO comprises fifteen municipalities stretching north and south from Thomaston to Beacon Falls and east and west from Bristol to Southbury. To learn more about the CNVMPO, visit

Community members walk along the Naugatuck River Greenway