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'»
Fences have been installed inside of the park to discourage people from stepping on freshly re-seeded sections of the lawn. This has meant some detours for pedestrians and awkward queuing up for food truck patrons.
Now, Trinity Street has been closed in one direction from Ford Street to just after the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. This is expected to re-open in mid-August after the renovation of the arch is completed. According to a press release from the Bushnell Park Foundation, the renovation project will include “cleaning, repointing and repairing the masonry, restoring the wooden doors at the entrances, adding thermal and moisture protection to the Arch, and cleaning, re-lamping and re-aiming of all light fixtures.”
To add more spice to your commuting life, the area being called “Bushnell Park North” is scheduled to be closed to vehicles beginning on June 30. Motorists have been advised to use Trumbull and Pearl as part of the detour when the westbound lanes of Jewell Street are closed.
If members of City Council have been checking their email and reading social media since the rumors of the stadium began last week, the major opposition to the project vocalized during Monday’s public hearing should have come as no surprise to elected officials.
Seventeen people spoke strongly against the stadium. There were three — two of whom are politicians — on the fence, and one business owner who seemed generally cautious. There were a total of five in favor, two of whom are politicians. Of those supporters, only three were what could be called strong supporters.
Although Segarra talked a good game at last week’s rushed press conference, we have learned that most members of the City Council only found out about this “done deal” at the same time or after the general public did last Monday.
Councilwoman Jennings said something needed to happen for Hartford’s economy to improve, but she had many questions that she wanted answers for. Monday, she asked to have her name removed from the list of those sponsoring the land transfer item.
In another interesting turn, Shawn Wooden, who spoke in favor of the stadium in the capacity as Council President at that press conference on Wednesday has revealed that his firm (Day Pitney) represents the seller of that land: Rensselaer. Monday night, he recused himself from voting on the land transfer item. Continue reading 'City Hall Dominated by Voices Against Stadium'»
The area of State House Square that had been proposed to change into a lane for buses.
With so little useful information traveling between City Hall and the general public, it is easy to get the impression that projects have stalled when that’s hardly the case. Continue reading 'Proposed Crosswalks, Sharrows, and Bike Lanes That May Happen During Your Lifetime'»