November 24, 2009

Still no progress on Pequabuck pedestrian bridge

Though seven years have passed since the city bought a former Wonder Bread outlet on Riverside Avenue in order to build a new parking lot and pedestrian bridge to Memorial Boulevard, nothing has yet happened to make the plan a reality.
“We really need to follow up,” Mayor Art Ward said.
The holdup is twofold, officials: a lack of city money and the lack of a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Meanwhile, there’s nearly $100,000 left over from a state grant for the Veterans Park that state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat, snagged five years ago. That money can still be tapped if the city get moving, officials said.
The city aims to erect an 80-foot long pedestrian bridge that would span the river between the city-owned parking lot on Riverside Avenue and the boulevard. It would not actually touch the water, officials said, and shouldn’t have any impact on the river.
The prefabricated bridge walkway would be more than 3 feet higher than the expected flood crest of the worst storm in a century, according to permit paperwork.
Beside the parking lot is a small, vacant store included in the property the city bought for $179,000 in 2002. For years, it housed Hubbard’s Florist, but Wonder Bread was its last tenant.
The city hasn’t found a use for the structure yet, but officials have suggested it could be used one day for meeting space for veterans and or community organizations.
Potential purchasers have occasionally inquired about buying the property for private use, but because Bristol used grant money for the project, selling it may be difficult.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne said the Real Estate Committee is taking a hard look at the property to see what might be done.
Ward said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a permit to allow the bridge. He said the DEP is the only obstacle remaining aside from money.
The city put the project on the shelf this year because of the lack of funding. But it could be included in future capital project lists.
The city used downtown revitalization money to acquire the Riverside Avenue property for $179,000 during Mayor Frank Nicastro’s tenure in 2002.
It tapped Community Development Block Grant aid to pay the $43,000 demolition fee to knock down the old Hubbard & Co. Feeds & Fertilizer barn there in 2003. That was Mayor Gerard Couture’s first act after taking office.
Since then, however, there’s been nothing done on the site.
Both Jonathan Rosenthal, the city’s economic development director, and Public Works Director Walter Veselka are likely to report on the project’s status at the December 8 City Council meeting.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Theres that Rosenthal guy again!

Anonymous said...

CANT WAIT TO HERE FROKM CITY HALL . MO0RE BULL. NO TRUTH . NO SOLID ANSWERS.

Anonymous said...

Bristol will never move forwardwith the leadership it has.

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding. The city is going to be laying off teachers in order to fund the building of a pedestrian bridge?

Anonymous said...

8:38 PM, Don't hold your breath. You can't "HERE" city hall. I'd wish you a happy turkey day, but eating a turkey would probably be a cannabilistic act on your part. Have a good one anyway!

Anonymous said...

C'MON WARD GET OFF YOU DEAD A$@ AND DO SOMETHING.

Gary L. Graff-Lawton said...

Steve;

I thought that a Bristol veterans museum was supposed to go in the old Hubbards building and then a bridge was supposed to link them. Whatever happened to that?

Anonymous said...

Things dont get done in BRISTOL just stalled.

Anonymous said...

Bristol is in reverse cycle. We never go in a positive direction. Just look at what runs the city a bunch ego mainiats.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that this bridge will require a parking lot that will have to be built, maintained, monitored.
Who is keeping track of the ongoing costs?

Anonymous said...

Have faith great words from Ken Cockyane .Hes going to take a hard look.

Anonymous said...

The city don't take care of their parking lot in the West End.Park Department does a lousy job with Bracket Park.

Anonymous said...

If you want progress BRISTOL ISNT THE PLACE TO BE. We are controlled by procrastinatetors. Not one elected politian could lead or take a solid position. This is a sorry group.

Anonymous said...

No need to have done anything this year.
But in 2011, when Ward has a challenge, he will do
WHATEVER it takes to get elected.

Hee-hee said...

4:41 - suck it up.

jingle-jangle said...

10:00 - great job - sad thing is that he can't make you look any more of an as- than you make yourself look like - happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

12:28, Our elected "POLITAINS" are nowhere near as sorry as an adult who continuously post comments utilizing the spelling and grammar skills of a 2nd or not too bright 3rd grader.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah!!

We are saved!

Ken Cockayne is on the job.

Goody, Goody.

Anonymous said...

Ken's gonna take a "hard look?" Yup, that sounds about right. Looking is probaby pretty difficult for him...actually doing something is impossible.

Anonymous said...

Election is over and so are the promises. We will pay big time next year. This group will bury us.

Anonymous said...

Bring stortz back!