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CT Construction Digest Friday November 29, 2019

Hearing set on Bristol road improvements
BRISTOL -- The Connecticut Department of Transportation will conduct a public information meeting regarding proposed major improvements on Route 72 at the intersection with Route 69 on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers, 111 North Main St.
The snow date for the meeting is Thursday, Dec. 5.
The meeting will begin with a design presentation, followed by a question and answer session with DOT personnel. Plans of the proposed project will be on display for public review at City Hall two weeks prior to the meeting.
The project is identified as State Project No. 17-187. It is intended to reduce congestion, address traffic operational inefficiencies, and improve safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
“The purpose of the meeting is to share the current project schedule, proposed landscaping and parking layouts,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “Construction is scheduled for spring of 2022, but there is a lot of work that has to be done now, to keep the project moving forward, including acquisition of certain properties, the eventual demolition of them, and final design plans.”
“It’s really important that the state hears from the residents and businesses in the neighborhood at this stage,” said Councilman Peter Kelley. “We have already told them that some of their plantings and proposed landscape design is not the right fit for this area. We want to give them as much constructive feedback as possible, so the eventual construction project is quick and efficient.”
“There is a lot of infrastructure in this project area that we need to be aware of, from the right of way issues, to the Pequabuck River bridge, the utilities and traffic signals, and the potential to dead end Divinity Street and extend Pratt Street,” said Raymond Rogozinski, Public Works director.
“When you do major work in an older neighborhood, there are opportunities to update accessibility items like the handicapped parking and parking lot configurations, traffic islands and pedestrian crossings,” said Councilwoman Mary Fortier. “I’m interested to see how these improvements are being integrated.”
“We have some great opportunities to create more green space and open up access to the river,” said Councilwoman Brittany Barney. “With the city’s recent Connectivity grant for bike pathways from the Boulevard up through Rockwell, I am looking forward to see how they are planning for the sidewalks, signage and curbing materials.”
The DOT says the configuration of the intersection will be improved by realigning Route 72 to the north, which will soften curvature along Route 72 and allow geometric improvements to the intersection.
The project includes dedicated left-turn lanes to be added to both approaches of Route 72. The existing dedicated left-turn lanes on the approaches of Route 69 will remain, but will be realigned so the movements do not overlap. The new geometry of the intersection will allow for tractor trailers to make all turns.
The existing Divinity Street/Route 72 intersection will be eliminated; Divinity will be shortened to terminate at its intersection with Landry Street. A new “T” type intersection will be formed by extending Pratt Street north to Route 72. The Pratt leg will be stop-sign controlled and a left-turn lane will be provided on Route 72 to accommodate vehicles turning left onto Pratt.
Sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements will be included to provide pedestrian connectivity throughout the project limits. Four-foot-wide shoulders will be provided throughout the project limits to improve bicycle safety.
The proposed realignment of Route 72 will result in the reduction of parking spaces in the existing parking lot located at the northeast corner of the 72/69 intersection. To compensate for the reduction, the DOT says reasonable efforts to provide additional parking within the project limits will be included, with details and locations being coordinated with city officials.
The DOT expects the project to include five total-property acquisitions and seven property sliver acquisitions.
The estimated construction cost for this project is approximately $6 million, which is anticipated to be paid for by 80% federal funds and 20% state funds.
More detailed information is available at the DOT’s Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. More information is also available by contacting Matthew Vail at 860-594-3274 or

Shelbourne scores extension on Talcott Plaza redevelopment plan
Joe Cooper
The city of Hartford is giving one of downtown’s most prominent landlords six additional months to decide whether it plans to salvage the vacant One Talcott Plaza garage.New York’s Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC once planned to raze the garage near Main Street by year-end as part of a tax-break deal it inked with the city. But Shelbourne now says there may be potential to repair and reopen the garage, following findings from a recent engineering study performed on the site. On Monday, Shelbourne received near unanimous approval from the city council to extend the deadline to determine the fate of the garage until June 30. The previous agreement called for the garage to be demolished in preparation of new site construction by Dec. 31, city records show.   The council’s approval also requires Shelbourne to increase its planned investment at the complex, which includes vacant office space at the corner of Main and Talcott streets, to more than $10 million.  Shelbourne has bought more than $200 million in downtown real estate since 2014. Earlier this year, Shelbourne was part of a trio of landlord-developers to propose a $100 million residential-commercial redevelopment linking Trumbull and Main streets, via the Pratt Street retail corridor. That project proposes to create 375 new apartments and townhomes, in addition to 45,000 square feet of retail, mainly along the south side of Pratt, where Shelbourne owns much of the commercial space. Shelbourne ran into trouble after the city’s 2016 revaluation more than doubled the taxes on three of its most prized Class A office towers downtown, including 20 and 350 Church St. and 100 Pearl St. In total, its tax bill jumped from $2.6 million to $5.4 million. After suing the city in pursuit of new valuations, the two sides reached a settlement agreement in 2017. That deal handed Shelbourne property-tax relief on several of its downtown properties, saving them more than $1 million in the most recent tax year The deal also tasked Shelbourne with redeveloping One Talcott Plaza, which includes three lots at 1006 Main, 30 Talcott and 36-70 Taclott streets. Shelbourne agreed to pay back taxes on the property and invest $10 million redeveloping the site.


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