We began looking at the speed of various projects in Hartford as we noticed a serious slow down of work at the same time that we were hearing rumors out of City Hall that money was being creatively redistributed. Others can look into the latter, but as we took a peek at various projects, it was undeniable that movement stalled in the season when the weather is actually cooperative for much of the work. Now, we look again to see what has changed since early September.
iQuilt and the Intermodal Triangle
When the iQuilt was developing and the public was invited to various meetings, the impression given was that this was meant to invigorate the environment, making a more pedestrian-friendly connection from the area of Bushnell Park and The Bushnell, to the Connecticut River. Wayfinding signs have been installed and Envisionfest has finally begun attracting a respectable number of visitors, but what else?
The Intermodal Triangle Project is responsible for the sidewalk along the north side of Bushnell Park getting ripped out. Those who use the park as part of their commute have found themselves re-routed. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects: November 2014 Update'»
More than one year ago, Real Hartford reported that there were plans to paint green bike lanes on the section of Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Farmington Avenue. Temporary striping for lanes and bike boxes occurred last November. Continue reading 'First Green Lanes Underway for Hartford'»
Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Farmington Avenue will be closed to through traffic from 6 on Saturday morning until 5 on Monday morning for work related to the CTfastrak project. This work is to include the restriping of lanes, including bicycle lanes and boxes.
Pedestrian access will be maintained during this time. The Legislative Office Building and garage will only be accessible from Capitol Avenue during construction.
In July we took the City’s temperature on how Capital Improvement Project funds were being used. Two months later, we are taking another look.
Previously, it was said that the Pope Park pond restoration work would begin in September. The latest information is that the plan now is only to dredge it and to go with the lowest bid. Still waiting on official word regarding the status of the restoration of ponds at Goodwin Park and Bushnell Park, but we hear that work on the latter should begin later this month. It’s suspected that the problem with the Bushnell Park pond is related to piping and its lining.
Work seems to have stalled, then resumed, and then slowed at Pope Park North (Baby Pope) over the summer. One City source said that the spray pool and playground construction would be completed by May, and a sign at the site said July. At the beginning of July, some playground equipment, picnic tables, and benches were in place, but the spray pool was never on during the school summer vacation. The border fence remains to be installed. Grass seed was spread, but never appeared to be watered. The only signs of movement on the site have been some work to the sidewalk surrounding. With children back in school, the $570,000 renovations remains unfinished. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects'»
Nine students, most with no prior woodworking experience, created their own Puerto Rican tiples with instruction from William Cumpiano, a master luthier from Northamption, Massachusetts.
Myriam, a student, called this an “exercise in patience.”
The course offered by Trinity College began one week ago and wrapped up on Sunday, with students averaging over six hours of work on their instruments per day. Continue reading 'Puerto Rican Tiple Construction Workshop at Trinity a Hit'»
The Front Street Lofts development is starting to take shape. This will provide five stories of apartments, totaling 121 units, and street-level retail space.
With so much talk of how the City has been spending money and plans to use bonding in relation to the proposed stadium, it’s time to take a look at how Hartford is using Capital Improvement Project funds elsewhere.
The recently re-opened George Day Park is one of those items. With new playground equipment, basketball court, garden area, and water features, this Parkville spot cost $870,000 to renovate.
In neighboring Frog Hollow, the Pope Park North/Baby Pope playground has been under construction for months. The underutilized tennis courts, broken chain link fencing, and dated playground equipment were ripped out, along with a concrete spray pool. Neighborhood kids have been, in the meantime, playing basketball and football on the first block of Putnam Street, in the roadway. Here, the City has said that the spray pool and playground construction would be completed by May, but a sign at the site says July. There is some playground equipment and picnic tables in place, but work remains to be done for the $570,000 price tag.
The Goodwin Park spray pool construction is scheduled to be completed in August: $190,000.
The carousel in Bushnell Park opened for the season at the end of June, approximately two months later than it normally does. That it has been open for more than only two days this season is an improvement over what was expected — one day in June, one day in September. The necessity of some of these renovations has been debated, but ultimately, the funds were approved. A document produced by the City lists the CIP funds for this at $900,000, yet the City Council approved $1M for it. Construction should complete in late November. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects'»
Underside of an elevated I-84 ramp near Broad and Capitol. Photo taken 17 June 2014.
The I-84 Hartford Project held a public information meeting on Tuesday to inform about State Project No. 63-644 and to get people involved in what the CT DOT calls the early planning process.
“We’re here really kicking off public involvement,” Richard Armstrong of the CT DOT said. On Tuesday, they were not “rolling out” any “design solutions.”
Building the Case for Rethinking the Elevated Highway
The section of I-84 being analyzed is between Flatbush Avenue and the I-91 interchange, including the Sisson Avenue, Sigourney Street, and Asylum Street/Capitol Avenue/Broad Street ramps. Of that 2.5 mile corridor, the raised highway (“Aetna Viaduct”) is considered to be most important. In actuality, there are 4.5 miles of bridges when the highway ramps are included. Armstrong said “it’s safe to drive on,” but “periodic repairs are expensive.”
Mike Morehouse, a senior project manager with Fitzgerald & Halliday, said that $60 million has been spent on repairing bridges in the last decade. Another $50 million in repairs are expected in the next three years. Continue reading 'I-84 Hartford Project Asks for Public Involvement'»