SOUTHINGTON — Neighbors of the middle schools that are undergoing renovations aren’t happy with some disruptive noises that started a little more than a week ago.
Kennedy and DePaolo middle schools have been under construction for nearly a year in a $89.7 million renovation project to update the facilities. The Middle School Building Committee learned at its meeting Tuesday that some neighbors on Werking Street and South Main Street near Kennedy haven’t been happy with the level of noise coming from the construction site.
Two neighbors were frustrated with the “loud banging” after 8 p.m. and continuing until close to 11 p.m. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
CTfastrak open house Wednesday
The state Department of Transportation said it will host the first of two open-house events Wednesday at the Old State House in Hartford.
The DOT said it wants to educate area residents and employees about the bus-only road from New Britain to Hartford that will begin service in early 2015.
The open house will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a presentation at noon. Admission is free.
The second event will be May 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library.
Outlook is optimestic for outlet shopping
As the home to 14 shopping centers — from the Tanger Outlet Center of Westbrook to the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester — it would seem Connecticut has plenty of options for the state's retail consumers. But three new proposed multi-million dollar outlet center developments — in Cheshire, East Hartford and at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard — will collectively add more than 1.1 million square feet of retail space in the Nutmeg State by 2016. The new projects indicate developers are once again bullish on the state's retail sector, following a lull in new activity following the Great Recession. The developments also reflect a national trend in the growing popularity of outlet centers. In fact, figures from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) show that nearly 40 of the U.S.'s 225 outlet centers have opened since 2006. "Outlets are the name of the game," said Gary Skoien, CEO of Horizon Group Properties, a Michigan-based company that plans to invest $84 million in a 350,000-square-foot retail development at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, the company's first project in Connecticut. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Newington town hall committee approves $30.3M plan
NEWINGTON -- The town hall building committee Monday unanimously approved a $30.3 million plan to renovate the building and construct a standalone community center.
"This is a priority that needs to be done, that's needed to be done for many years," said committee member and Councilwoman Myra Cohen. "I really support this wholeheartedly."
The proposal now goes before the town council. If the council approves the plans, it would have to schedule a referendum for bonding to finance the work. Town Manager John Salomone said the council could set a referendum as soon as 60 days from the date of its approval. A fall vote, if it backs the project, would mean work could begin next year, he said. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Construction company sues Ansonia
ANSONIA >> The city is being sued by a Clinton construction company who built the riverwalk on Division Street, claiming it wasn’t paid for some of the work it did four years ago. However, Hammonasset Construction, LLC owner Kim Simoncini said Tuesday she’s “hopeful things can be resolved” before it goes any further in court. Simoncini believes with the transition from the previous Della Volpe administration (when the project was built) to the current Cassetti administration, the closing out of the riverwalk project “slipped through the cracks.” “I enjoyed working with the city, and I think we had a great rapport,” Simoncini said. “The project turned out absolutely beautiful.”
Simoncini said the company was paid for the majority of the work, but additional work the city requested, outside the scope of the original contract, remains unpaid. “There is a balance and we need to resolve it,” Simoncini said. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Guilford residents say school construction costs privacy, scenery
GUILFORD >> Nearly two weeks after residents of the community adjacent to the site of the new Guilford High School expressed their concerns about the ongoing construction, the Board of Selectmen spent more than an hour Tuesday discussing possible solutions to the issues. On April 17, the selectmen met with Long Hill Farm residents who were “frustrated and upset” with what they called a loss of privacy, scenery and peace and quiet as a result of the construction associated with Guilford’s new $92 million high school, according to meeting minutes. Tuesday’s meeting served to explore how the town could address concerns from the residents and representatives from the Guilford High School Building Committee ultimately decided to take the lead in meeting with the project’s landscape architect and Long Hill Farm residents to discuss solutions to restore a landscaping buffer between the school and development. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Wetlands cleanup behind Reed school to begin in August
WATERBURY -- A $3 million environmental cleanup of wetlands behind the Jonathan E. Reed Elementary School is planned to launch in August. It's been two years since the $48 million school opened to students following a massive cleanup of an 8-acre site off North Main Street that had housed a mix of residential and industrial buildings. That cleanup involved digging away many tons of soil and carting it off for specialized disposal. All that remains untouched is a nearly acre-sized wetlands, including a stream, cutting through the property closely behind the school. It has been cordoned off behind a chain-link fence since Reed opened. School officials say it is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl (or PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), petroleum and heavy metals. At present, the Reed Project still has $3.5 million of its budget unspent, according to school officials. Cleanup of the wetlands is estimated at $3 million. The project will involve diverting the stream to one-half of the wetlands so soil on the other half can be treated. Next, the stream will be diverted to the cleaned side of the wetlands and the process repeated. A dam will be removed during the project. "This will be the final phase that will allow us to close up the Reed project," schools Chief Operating Officer Paul Guidone told the Board of Education during a meeting last Thursday. Guidone is seeking board approval to take cleanup plans to the state Office of School Facilities.
There doesn't seem to be any opposition to the administration's plans on the site.
Mark Sedensky, from the city's chief school construction consultants, O&G Industries, told the school board the hope is to get work launched at the end of August or early September.
Town will rebuild bridge
SOUTHBURY — Now that funding is in place, the town is moving ahead with plans to rebuild the Pomperaug River bridge on River Road. Engineers representing the town have appeared before the Inland Wetlands Commission to explain how the bridge, which was given to the town by the state about 35 years ago, will be rebuilt. The proposal is for one lane to be reconstructed at a time. A temporary traffic light will move traffic through the area so no detour will be needed. The top deck and beams will be replaced, and workers will rehabilitate the concrete piers in the Pomperaug River, which have deteriorated with age. Much of the bridge deck is riddled with bumps and potholes.
Wetlands commissioners have asked that steps be taken to protect the river while work is underway.
They have asked the engineers to limit the silt that will run off into the river. Engineers have said a fabric covering will be placed under the bridge to catch any materials that might otherwise fall in the water. The town will receive more than $3 million in state money to complete the work. Representatives from the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley reviewed other transportation projects in the region and determined the Pomperaug River bridge was the only high-priority job that was most near shovel-ready, First Selectman Ed Edelson has said. The bridge was given a poor rating by state inspectors in 2004. Although it is not in danger of collapse, officials have tried for years to obtain a grant to help pay for the work. The town took control of the bridge when the state abandoned River Road, which used to be Route 6. State officials consider the project important because the bridge would carry highway traffic if the Rochambeau and Carney bridges over the Housatonic River on Interstate 84 ever became impassable. Construction will likely begin next year after all permits are obtained.