Joggers at New Canaan's Irwin Park may have noticed that a portion of the trails is much softer than the rest of the area. That Flexi-Pave material will be installed over another stretch of the trail, along the park's "great lawn."
The Department of Public Works expects to start the project sometime in April, Assistant Director of Public Works Tiger Mann said Tuesday.
Flexi-Pave is a porous, noncracking, insulating and flexible construction material that's composed from recycled tires and aggregate.
Residents and town officials seem to be excited about the project. Ron Jaco, who was taking a stroll at the park Saturday with his wife, Vicky Wray, said it's easier to walk on the Flexi-Pave stretch than on the asphalt area.
"You feel like you're walking on rubber," he said. "I think you could walk on that twice as far."
The project will cost $49,150. Funding will be provided from the Irwin Park Trails Special Projects Fund, which was donated by residents for this purpose. Mann noted that to cover the entire trail with Flexi-Pave would cost more than $100,000.
The first Flexi-Pave installation at the trails, which took place in 2008, was also funded by residents, according to Mann. Six years later, the Flexi-Pave stretch still looks new, he said.
"It's held up pretty well," Mann said at the Feb. 26 Town Council meeting. "Asphalt probably would have cracked at this time."
Town Council member Tucker Murphy agreed.
"I'm so amazed at how well that's held over," she said. "I go there all the time. It really stayed all intact."
Mann said the trails are among the earliest Flexi-Pave installations in the country. He estimates the material to have a life span greater than 20 years.
The department won't start the work until the snow is completely gone, according to Mann.
"We are going to wait until the area dries out a little and after the daffodils bloom," he said.
At the Feb. 26 meeting, New Canaan resident Bill Sessions thanked the Town Council for approving the project.
"The town took quite a risk in undertaking this venture in the first place," Sessions said, "and I think it's a credit to New Canaan that it proved out to be a success."
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