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The grant-funded project to build a new public parking lot opposite the Town Green on the former police station site is now complete. The new Main Street parking lot will serve patrons of The Kate, Town Green events, and of Main Street businesses. (Photo by Becky Coffey/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
The major North Main Street road rebuilding project added new stormwater management infrastructure, rebuilt the road, and added sidewalks and lighting along both sides of the new roadbed. (Photo by Becky Coffey/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
Members of the Main Street Park project team (from left) Brendan Marino and Buster Brown of Barnhart Crane and Darrell Petit, sculptor/finisher of the granite from the Stony Creek Quarry operation, and his wife Naomi Darling of Darling Architecture, the landscape architect and designer of the conceptual plan for the Main Street Park and parking area, with their sons, Nile and Kai Petit-Darling, all of whom flank First Selectman Carl Fortuna, Jr. at the Main Street Park and Parking Area. (Photo by Becky Coffey/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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Last Friday, a crane unloaded and carefully placed four large granite blocks to line the landscaped corner next to the new public park and parking area on Main Street. With those blocks in place, the Main Street project is now done. And after making the final wiring connections to streetlights along North Main Street, Mizzy Construction also was ready to call that capital project done as well.
Main Street Parking and Park Connection
On Friday, Oct. 27, Old Saybrook’s Main Street park got a delivery by crane: four monumental granite blocks that now line the sidewalk of the new park’s landscaped corner. So heavy they had to be moved with a huge crane, the new granite blocks from Stony Creek Quarry are of a shape and size to be perfect for use as benches. The stone blocks were sculpted and finished by Darrell Petit of Stony Creek Quarry. Petit is the husband of Naomi Darling, the landscape architect who developed the conceptual site plan for a Main Street park with recreational amenities, a landscaped area, and public parking for this site.
The Main Street Parking and Park Connection project added 31 new off-street public parking spaces at 221 Main Street, the site of the former police station. Initially, the added parking will support events at The Kate and on the Town Green across the street and be used by patrons of Main Street businesses. But in the future, when recreational amenities are added to the 1.3 acre parcel behind the new parking area, the new parking will support those added uses.
“It’s not a parking lot for The Kate,” said First Selectman Carl Fortuna, Jr. “When we develop the rear parcels with public recreational amenities, Zoning will require parking to support the use. Parks and Recreation will ultimately determine the recreational uses for both rear parcels.”
Already approved by Zoning is a project site plan that shows a plaza, paviliion, and bocce courts as future possible improvements on one of the two rear lots. Also in a future phase is planned sidewalk connection between Main Street and Lynde Street. The Town acquired a four-foot wide easement on which to build that pedestrian link from the adjacent site’s owner, now Frontier Communications.
Now finished, the Main Street parking area is surrounded by a new grass lawn, and along the lot’s northern edge, a line of newly planted bushes and trees. Two new benches were installed here too for walkers who wish to tarry for a time. And a landscaped corner next to Main Street is the new home for four huge Stony Creek granite blocks.
The Schumack Construction company was the low-bidder for the construction phase of this project, submitting a bid of $374,969.
The town’s costs for design, engineering, construction, and project oversight were offset for this first phase of the public park and parking project by a $500,000 Small-Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant the town was awarded in 2015.
North Main Street Rebuild
The $1.3 million project to rebuild the 900 feet of the two-block long North Main Street is now complete. Most of the funding for this major capital improvement project came from the State of Connecticut Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP).
The low bid of $1,128,275 for the construction phase was submitted by Mizzy Construction. Originally slated to be completed in no more than 180 days, Mizzy actually completed the work early.
The project’s scope included taking the road down to its base, adding major stormwater management infrastructure in underground trenches, rebuilding and repaving the roadbed, and then installing sidewalks and decorative lighting along both sides of the newly rebuilt street. A third travel lane was also added between Route One and Stage Road to accommodate vehicles waiting to turn left from North Main Street onto the Boston Post Road/Route One northbound.
This major upgrade to the two-block road improves travel for vehicles while also making new pedestrian connections between the Old Saybrook Train Station, the 199-space new station parking lot, the apartments of Post & Main, and the businesses along North Main Street and Stage Road and the town’s Main Street center.
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