Sidebar Harbor Management Plan- Appendix D

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Appendix D: Priority Projects from the City of Middletown's "Back to the Riverfront Revitalization Program"

PRIORITY PROJECTS* FOR THE FIRST YEAR OF THE
CONNECTICUT RIVER ACTION PLAN
OF THE AMERICAN HERITAGE RIVERS INITIATIVE

Submitted to:
American Heritage Rivers Initiative
Federal Partners and Core Group

Submitted by:
City of Middletown
Harbor Improvement Agency

September 21, 1999

* The priority projects are numbered in this report for identification purposes and not to denote priority among projects or project categories.

PLANNING AND DESIGN ANALYSIS PROJECTS

1. Detailed engineering, design and cost analyses for construction of: a) a pedestrian plaza spanning Route 9 from the Downtown to Harborpark; and/or b) improvements to the existing pedestrian tunnel under Route 9 to Harborpark.

Status summary: In 1999 the Harbor Improvement Agency completed a study of opportunities to improve pedestrian and/or vehicle access across Route 9 to Harborpark at three locations: 1) the area across Route 9 between Court Street and College Street; 2) the existing pedestrian tunnel under Route 9; and 3) the Route 9 underpass at Union Street. Conceptual designs for these improvements, including construction of a pedestrian plaza spanning Route 9, have bee prepared. The City is ready to proceed with implementation of planned streetscape improvements along Union Street. Detailed engineering, design, and cost analyses with respect to the pedestrian plaza and tunnel improvement concepts are needed, however, before the City may proceed with construction of those elements of Middletown’s Waterfront Vision.

Projected budget: $200,000

Projected time line: Completion of detailed engineering, design and cost analyses in 2000; identification of potential sources of funds for project implementation in 2000; preparation and submission of applications for implementation funds in 2001; construction of tunnel improvements by 2005; construction of pedestrian plaza by 2010.

First-year goals: Selection of engineering and design consultants; completion of detailed engineering, design and cost analyses and incorporation of those analyses into construction plans; public meeting to present construction plans and obtain public comments; identification of potential sources of funds for plan implementation.

Resources committed or pledged: The City expended $12,000 of City funds to prepare the conceptual designs for access improvements. The City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating the detailed engineering, design and cost analyses and for incorporating those analyses into construction plans; the City will work with the American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI) partners to identify potential sources of funds for plan implementation and will prepare the grant application for those funds.

Unfulfilled resource and technical assistance needs: Engineering and design consultants will be retained by the City to prepare the engineering, design and cost analyses.

2. Development of detailed plans for public use and development of the City-owned Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties, including design of a public boat launching facility and incorporation of the properties into a waterfront greenway linked with the Downtown and Harborpark.

Status summary: In 1999 the City completed its acquisition of the Peterson Oil property – a key waterfront site that will expand Middletown’s waterfront greenway on the Connecticut River south of Harborpark. The City’s ongoing Brownfields study has evaluated the extent of contamination on the property; a boat dock for use by the Middletown Police and Fire departments is planned for immediate development on the site. The City also intends to prepare and implement a fisheries and habitat restoration plan for Sumner Brook which separates the Peterson Oil property from Columbus Point at Harborpark.

Adjoining the Peterson Oil property to the south is Middletown’s wastewater treatment plan. The City has been a principal participant in the Mattabesset Regionalization Study which has determined the feasibility of pumping the wastewater now treated at this plant and several other treatment facilities in the Middletown area to the Mattabesset District treatment plant at Cromwell. To accomplish regional consolidation of wastewater treatment, the City treatment plant will be decommissioned and this waterfront site will be available for development of public River access facilities, including a public boat launching ramp. In addition, the existing wastewater treatment facilities and discharges into the Connecticut River from the Pratt and Whitney manufacturing plant and Connecticut Valley Hospital at Middletown will be eliminated through the regionalization project.

Projected budget: $65,000

Projected time line: Completion of detailed plans for public use and development in 2000; identification of potential sources of plan implementation funds in 2000; environmental cleanup of Peterson Oil property in 2000; incorporation of plan provisions into City’s Plan of Conservation and Development and Harbor Management Plan in 2000; preparation and submission of applications for implementation funds in 2001; decommissioning the wastewater treatment plant by 2005; construction of public River access facilities and waterfront greenway by 2007.

First-year goals: Selection of planning and design consultants; completion of detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties into a waterfront greenway linked with the Downtown and Harborpark; public meeting to present plans and obtain public comments; identification of potential sources of funds for plan implementation; incorporation of plan provisions into City’s Plan of Conservation and Development and Harbor Management Plan.

Resources committed or pledged: The City funded the $650,000 purchase price of the Peterson Oil property entirely with municipal bonds. The City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating preparation of the detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties; the City will work with the AHRO partners to identify potential sources of funds for plan implementation and will prepare the grant applications for those funds.

3. Preparation of a habitat and fisheries restoration plan for Sumner Brook in coordination with development of detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties, and in coordination with environmental clean up of the Peterson Oil property.

Status summary: Sumner Brook is a small tributary of the Connecticut River that separates the Peterson Oil property from Columbus Point at Harborpark. The riparian ecosystem associated with the Brook has been degraded by sedimentation, runoff from adjoining commercial areas, and the accumulation of trash and other debris along the stream banks. The importance of enhancing/restoring the water quality, visual quality and habitat values associated with the Brook are of particular interest because of the proximity of the Brook to Harborpark and the Union Street/Route 9 underpass which provides vehicle access to Harborpark.

In conjunction with development of detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties and environmental clean up of the Peterson Oil property, a habitat and fisheries restoration plan for the Brook will be prepared and implemented. During the course of the City’s recently completed Waterfront and Harbor Management Study, a representative of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offered the department’s assistance to the City for design of a restoration plan for the Brook and stated that plan implementation funds may be available through the State’s River Restoration Grant Program.

Projected Budget: $15,000.00

Projected Time Line: Preparation of habitat and fisheries restoration plan in 2000; identification of potential sources of funds for plan implementation and application for implementation grant in 2000; plan implementation in 2001.

First Year Goals: Selection of planning consultant; completion of habitat and fisheries restoration plan in consultation with Connecticut DEP; identification of sources of funds for plan implementation; application for implementation funds.

Resources Committed or Pledged: The City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating preparation of the habitat and fisheries restoration plan; the City will work with the AHRI partners to identify potential sources of funds for plan implementation and will prepare the grant applications for those funds.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: Engineering and environmental consultants will be retained by the City to prepare the habitat and fisheries restoration plan.

4. Structural assessment of the Harborpark bulkhead; engineering, design and cost analysis for bulkhead repairs/improvements, as necessary.

Status Summary: The bulkhead at Harborpark supports a continuous waterfront boardwalk along the length of the park on the Connecticut River. The bulkhead also supports a docking facility used by the U.S. Coast Guard and commercial tugboat operators during their Connecticut River operations. In addition, the bulkhead has supported the docking of excursion boats that provide regularly scheduled and chartered trips on the River. The bulkhead was constructed in 1979 and no structural assessment or major repairs have been undertaken since that time. Excursion boar operations from Harborpark were suspended in 1998 due to the operator’s concerns over the deterioration of the bulkhead’s fender system. The operator has informed the City that if the bulkhead is repaired in the docking area and other Harborpark improvements are implemented, excursion boat trips will be resumed. It should be emphasized that an important element of the City’s Waterfront Vision is excursion boat linkage with Hartford and other River locations.

Projected Budget: $25,000.00

Projected Time Line: Structural assessment of Harborpark bulkhead and engineering, design and cost analysis for bulkhead repairs/improvements in 2000; identification of sources of funds for bulkhead repairs/improvements and application for those funds in 2000; bulkhead repairs/improvements in 2001.

First Year Goals: Completion of the structural assessment and the engineering design and cost analysis for bulkhead repairs/improvements; identification of sources of funds for bulkhead repairs/improvements and application for those funds.

Resources Committed or Pledged: The Harborpark boardwalk was constructed by the City with State and Federal funding assistance. The City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating the structural assessment and completion of the engineering, design and cost analysis for bulkhead repairs/ improvements; the City will work with the AHRI partners to identify potential sources of funds for the structural assessment and the engineering, design and cost analysis and will prepare the grant applications for those funds.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: Engineering consultants will be retained by the City to conduct the structural assessment and the engineering, design and cost analysis for bulkhead repairs/improvements.

5. Detailed engineering, design and cost analyses for extension of a streambank protection project to protect the municipal well field on River Road.

Status Summary: Shoreline erosion at Middletown is a natural, ongoing process requiring continued attention and appropriate measures to mitigate adverse impacts, especially along the City’s municipal well field. The River Road emergency streambank protection project was constructed by the Corps of Engineers through a cooperative effort involving the City and Connecticut DEP, and with a substantial contribution of City funds. In accordance with that agreement, the City has responsibilities for maintaining the existing streambank protection project, consisting of a grid block system of slope protection with a stone toe along approximately 500 linear feet of riverbank. The project was constructed to protect River Road, the water main under the road and a sewage pump station from shoreline erosion.

Downstream of the existing project, the shoreline adjoining the City’s River Road well field is unprotected and actively eroding although erosion has not progressed to the point that there is an imminent threat to the well field structures. As a result, the Corps of Engineers can not, at this time, economically justify the construction of an emergency streambank protection project to protect the well field from erosion. The City will now begin to document the rate of shoreline erosion at the River Road well field in order to determine when the well field structures are likely to be affected.

Projected Budget: $20,000.00

Projected Time Line: Completion of detailed engineering, design and cost analyses in 2000; identification of potential sources of project implementation funds in 2000; preparation and submission of applications for implementation funds in 2001; construction of streambank protection project to protect municipal well field on River Road by 2005.

First Year Goals: Selection of engineering and design consultants; completion of detailed engineering, design and cost analyses and incorporation of those analyses into construction plans; identification of potential sources of funds for plan implementation; preparation and submission of applications for those funds.

Resources Committed or Pledged: The City expended $40,000.00 of City funds for construction of the existing River Road emergency streambank protection project. The City will monitor the rate of shoreline erosion at the River Road well; the City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating the detailed engineering, design and cost analyses into construction plans; the City will work with the AHRI partners to identify potential sources of funds for plan implementation and will prepare the grant applications for those funds; the City will assume specific responsibilities for maintaining the streambank protection project as extended, in addition to its responsibilities for maintaining the existing project.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: Engineering and design consultants will be retained by the City to conduct the engineering, design and cost analysis; a contractor will be retained for construction of the project extension.

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

1. Implementation of planned streetscape improvements along the Union Street corridor to create an attractive and welcoming “gateway” to Harborpark, the City-owned Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties and the Connecticut River.

Status Summary: In 1999 the Harbor Improvement Agency completed a study of opportunities to improve pedestrian and/or vehicular access across Route 9 to Harborpark at three locations: 1) the area across Route 9 between Court Street and College Street; 2) the existing pedestrian tunnel under Route 9; and 3) the Route 9 underpass at Union Street. Conceptual designs for these improvements, including construction of a pedestrian plaza spanning Route 9, have been prepared. The City is prepared to immediately move forward with implementation of planned streetscape improvements along the Union Street corridor to create an attractive and welcoming “gateway” to Harborpark, the City-owned Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties and the Connecticut River. Included will be the planting of trees and other vegetation; construction of sidewalk improvements and other pedestrian amenities; and the addition of decorative and informational signage.

Projected Budget: $125,000.00

Projected Time Line: Completion of streetscape improvements in 2000.

First Year Goals: Preparation of bid specifications for contractor selection; selection of contractor; completion of streetscape improvements.

Resources Committed of Pledged: The City expended $12,000 of City funds to prepare the conceptual designs for access improvements across Route 9 to Harborpark, including streetscape improvements for the Union Street area: the City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating implementation of the streetscape improvement plan.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: A contractor will be retained by the City for implementing the streetscape improvement plan.

2. Environmental cleanup of the City-owned Peterson Oil property.

Status Summary: The City is applying a $200,000 Brownfields Initiative Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the extent to which Riverfront properties potentially available for public use or commercial development, including the Peterson Oil property, may be affected by hazardous materials and other contaminants. Phase I and II environmental site assessments of the Peterson Oil property have been completed. Those assessments have determined that the estimated cost of environmental cleanup prior to public use of the Peterson Oil property is $70,000.00. The cleanup will include the removal of two small areas of oil-contaminated soil identified in the Phase II environmental site assessment.

In coordination with environmental cleanup of the Peterson Oil property, the City will prepare detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties, including design of a public boat launching facility and incorporation of the properties into a waterfront greenway linked with the Downtown and Harborpark. The City is also pursuing development and implementation of a fisheries and habitat restoration plan for Sumner Brook which adjoins the Peterson Oil property. In addition, the City intends to construct an emergency services boat docking facility for Police and Fire department use at the Peterson Oil property.

Projected Budget: $70,000.00

Projected Time Line: Completion of the environmental cleanup in 2000

First Year Goals: Identification of sources of funds for environmental cleanup; application for those funds; preparation of bid specifications for contractor selection; selection of contractor; completion of environmental cleanup.

Resources Committed or Pledged: The City funded the $650,000 purchase price of the Peterson Oil property entirely with municipal bonds. The City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating the cleanup program; the City will work with the AHRI partners to identify potential sources of funds for cleanup and will prepare the grant applications for those funds; The City is committed to preparing and implementing detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties, as well as a fisheries and habitat restoration plan for Sumner Brook, and construction of an emergency services boat dock for the Middletown Police and Fire departments at the Peterson Oil property.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: A contractor will be retained for implementing the environmental cleanup.

3. Construction of emergency services boat docking facility for use by the Middletown Police and Fire departments at the Peterson Oil property.

Status Summary: The principal issue now affecting the City’s capabilities for responding to emergency situations on the Connecticut River is the lack of a City facility to accommodate access by emergency service vessels to the River from the Middletown shoreline. While inflatable vessels may be launched from the rowing ramp at Harborpark, that ramp is currently not suitable for use by larger, trailered vessels. As a result, the trailered vessels of the Middletown Police and Fire departments must be launched from a commercial marina ramp on the Portland side of the River. The time required to transport the Police and Fire boats over the Arrigoni Bridge to that ramp adds substantially to emergency response time.

Projected Budget: $20,000.00

Projected Time Line: Identification of sources of funds for dock construction and application for those funds prior to 2000 boating season; selection of contractor and construction of dock prior to 2000 boating season.

First Year Goals: Identification of sources of funds for dock construction and application for those funds; preparation of bid specifications for contractor selection; selection of contractor; construction of emergency services dock.

Resources Committed or Pledged: The City funded the $650,000 purchase price of the Peterson Oil property entirely with municipal bonds; the City prepared the applications for necessary State and Federal permits to construct the dock and has obtained those permits; the City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordination the dock construction; the City will work with the AHRI partners to identify potential sources of funds for dock construction and prepare the grant applications for those funds; the City is committed to preparing and implementing detailed plans for public use and development of the Peterson Oil and wastewater treatment plant properties, as well as a fisheries and habitat restoration plan for Sumner Brook and will carry out the necessary environmental cleanup of the Peterson Oil property.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: A contractor will be retained by the City to assist the City with dock construction.

4. Extension of “child-proof” railing along entire pedestrian boardwalk at Harborpark.

Status Summary: Among the public amenities provided at Harborpark is a waterfront boardwalk along the length of the park on the Connecticut River. The boardwalk provides opportunities for fishing from the shoreline, enjoyment of special events, access to excursion boats and leisurely walking to enjoy views of the River. The existing boardwalk was constructed in 1979 along with a waterfront railing along the length of the boardwalk. A “child-proof” railing system has been installed for public safety purposes in front of the America’s Cup Restaurant; City funds have not been available to replace the original railing, which has deteriorated in some locations, along the rest of the boardwalk. The City prepared cost estimates and specifications for replacing the railing along the entire boardwalk in 1995, utilizing as much of the existing aluminum pipe as possible. At that time, most of the work was to have been performed by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. In 1999 the Department is not able to undertake this work.

Projected Budget: $135,000.00

Projected Time Line: Identification of sources of funds for railing replacement, application for those funds, selection of contractor and railing replacement in 2000.

First Year Goals: Identification of sources of fund for railing replacement; application for those funds; preparation of bid specifications for contractor selection; selection of contractor; and railing replacement.

Resources Committed or Pledged: The Harborpark boardwalk was constructed by the City with State and Federal funding assistance. The City will provide in kind planning and engineering services with respect to directing and coordinating the railing replacement and will maintain the replacement railing; the City will work with the AHRI partners to identify potential sources of funds for railing replacement and prepare the grant applications for those funds.

Unfulfilled Resource and Technical Assistance Needs: A contractor will be retained by the City to undertake the railing replacement.

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