Changes are afoot for Bridgewater village center.

Motorists traveling from Clapboard Road in Bridgewater's village center may soon lose the opportunity to detour southbound through Center Street, avoiding the stop sign at the intersection with Main Street (Route 133).

Summer road work is planned in town, including making Center Street a one-way street northbound.

"The entrance to the street will be reconstructed to a sharper angle," said First Selectman Curtis Read.

The town also plans improvements for pedestrians.

"A sidewalk will be installed from the fairgrounds, past Town Hall, along Center Street," said Read, "and around the corner up Clapboard Road to Hut Hill Road."

Bridgewater resident Fran Kelly had a suggestion about the sidewalk plans.

"Why can't they have it go north up Route 133?" she asked. "I live near Route 67 and walk from my home into the village center quite often.

"I like the idea of a sidewalk," she added, "but why not go north up Route 133? I don't want to get hit by a truck."

Read noted this would be the first phase of a multi-phase plan to make the town more pedestrian friendly.

"The plan is to eventually have a sidewalk up Hut Hill Road, past the senior center and over to the recreation area (along Sarah Sanford Road), then on to the fairgrounds, creating a walking loop," he added. "But that will come in the future."

The planning for this pedestrian and street improvement was done in 2007 by the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials, of which Bridgewater is a member.

At HVCEO's March meeting, Read learned federal funding for the project would soon be released. Bridgewater would be responsible for 20 percent of the estimated $400,000 project cost, Read said.

"We have a transportation improvement program grant that has been coming through for a long time," Read said. "We've selected Milone & MacBroom as the engineers for the project.

The work, expected to start this summer, should improve the pedestrian pathway through the village center, Read added.

Another goal is to slow down traffic along Main Street (Route 133).

Water line improvements in the village center would also take place as part of the project, and crosswalks made more noticeable.

Annin McAlpine has lived along Hut Hill Road for 38 years. She said she is glad to hear the sidewalk would stop at the Clapboard and Hut Hill roads intersection.

"I like the idea of the sidewalk coming down through the center of town but I like Hut Hill the way it is," McAlpine said. "I like the rural feeling on Hut Hill."

For Bridgewater resident Eveline Peardon, the road and sidewalk plan appear positive.

"Drivers will have to stop at the stop sign on Route 133 as they come off Clapboard Road, She said. "I think it will be good to have Center Street one way. It will be safer.

"The sidewalk is a good idea, too," Peardon added. "It will be convenient for walking and won't affect the look of the village center."; 860-355-7322