Town Redoing ‘Splitter Island’ at Mead Park Exit As Part of Sidewalk Project


The exit of Mead Park at Richmond Hill Road on Sept. 25, 2023. Credit: Michael Dinan

The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved an approximately $13,000 contract with an East Otis, Mass.-based company to acquire granite curbing for a new “splitter island” in Mead Park, among other projects.

The selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the $13,469.86 contract with Williams Stone during the elected body’s Sept. 19 meeting.

The traffic island where the access road through Mead Park exits onto Richmond Hill Road divides motor vehicles turning left or right at that point and the granite curbing for an improved island “need to be specifically made for that piece,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.

The splitter island is “very small with basically two signs in it that say ‘one-way’ or what have you,” Mann told the selectmen at the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

“We are making it a little bit more pronounced and the sidewalk will travel through that portion so that the splitter island gets a little bit bigger,” he said. “And then we’ll armor plate it with granite and the way the radius works, the radius pieces are very specific. They’re very tight. So you can’t make them out of straight pieces. A lot of times we’ll make the curves out of straight pieces, but you can’t cut to these.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted in favor of the contract. 

Right now, the sidewalk that runs along Richmond Hill Road fronting Mead Park stops at the exit. In the future, it will travel through the area and continue up the south side of Richmond Hill Road, to Marshall Ridge. The selectmen in August approved a $360,000 contract for construction of the sidewalk itself. 

It’s been several years coming. The town for years has planned to install a new sidewalk on that stretch of Richmond Hill Road—an area that about 70 neighborhood families called dangerous in a December 2018 petition.

Williams asked Mann at the meeting whether the larger splitter island is expected to improve pedestrian safety. Mann said yes.

The purchase of the granite includes additional pieces that Mann said the town will use elsewhere in New Canaan.

“The rest of the truck I filled with straight pieces just so we didn’t have to pay for a short load to bring that type of material to us,” he said.

3 thoughts on “Town Redoing ‘Splitter Island’ at Mead Park Exit As Part of Sidewalk Project

    • I think it’s more of a descriptor, Todd. As in, the island ‘splits’ traffic entering Richmond Hill Road to westbound and eastbound. It’s not like Cyprus or Bora Bora, as readers can see from the photo above (though I did snap this pic on a rainy day, so the splitter island was not shining in all its glory).

  1. Great plan. Glad this is happening and especially that Richmond Hill will have a sidewalk all the way up. It’s been years of concern for the walkers on that road.

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