Stamford nears completion on Springdale improvements
The Stamford Times - http://www.thehour.com/stamford_times/
By KOREY WILSON
Times Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 9:00 pm
STAMFORD -- A Springdale public improvement project, a decade in the making, is nearing its completion.
City officials held a dedication ceremony on Wednesday for the Hope Street Improvement Project at State Cinema in Springdale.
The $4.2 million project, which began construction in April, aims to improve safety for pedestrians and motor vehicles in a highly trafficked area.
The project spans nearly a half-mile on Hope Street between Northill Street and Weed Hill Avenue. The improvements will primarily provide road widening and sidewalk installations along the route.
"It will set the benchmark for the village of Springdale," said outgoing Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia.
"The idea was to improve traffic but do it in a way that it would activate the economic development of this corridor. This is a very powerful corridor. It's a part of the last remaining village in Stamford so we need to do everything to enhance it."
The project route includes eight intersecting side streets, many of which will be enhanced with through lanes and turning lanes. To further ease traffic congestion, turn lanes will be added going into Springdale Elementary School.
"There's a lot of complexity to it. There's intersections that have traffic signal replacements, new sidewalks and drainage improvements," said City Engineer Louis Casolo.
To improve the street appearance, the area between the curb line and sidewalk will be constructed with brick pavers. The sidewalk will be reconstructed on both sides of Hope Street and Camp Street and a new sidewalk will be provided on the north side of Greenway Street, according to city officials.
Safety improvements include addition of granite stone curbing throughout the project to better define the travel way and to protect pedestrians.
The project is about 90 percent complete and is expected to be finished by August 2014, according to Casolo.
Prior to construction, the city coordinated with several utility companies to complete underground work in preparation of the project.
The city worked with AT&T, Verizon, CL&P and Yankee Gas to relocate services before construction.
"Disruptions to utility services were minimal and usually took place early morning or late at night," said Michael Rosenblatt, a Department of Transportation engineer, who managed the day-to-day operations of the project.
Despite the construction, traffic was kept to a minimum as well.
"It is quite difficult with the amount of traffic this area gets, especially with the school right up the street, said Rosenblatt.
Every morning, traffic was very heavy but we make it work. We try to keep every lane open. Our number one goal is to keep everyone safe."
The improvements were funded through federal, state and local governments.
City Rep. Mary Fedeli, who represents the Springdale district, said the project received initial funding for road widening when a post office was added 10 years ago.
City officials credited city Traffic Engineer Mani Poola in securing most of the project's funding.
New trees are expected to be added during Spring. A plaque commemorating the project will be mounted on the corner of Northill and Hope Streets.
The Springdale Neighborhood Association, along with Fedeli, was pivotal in bringing the need for the project to the city's attention.
"The reason we became involved is because our responsibilities are safety and beautification, said Jennifer McKeon, president of Springdale Neighborhood Association.
"We want this to be a place where people want to live and spend money."
"It was very long-term but this is a happy ending to this project," added Phyllis Pugliesi, a neighborhood association member.