Looking ahead at plans in Windsor Locks for 2014
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Jan. 8, 2014
Windsor Locks residents are eager to see town-wide goals make progress in 2014, and according to local officials, they will not be disappointed. First Selectman Steve Wawruck and economic development consultant Patrick McMahon were able to provide good news on many projects in the queue.
Route 75 bus shelters
“After many years of deliberation and proposals to get bus shelters on the Route 75 corridor, the new year is looking very favorably to the realization of this project happening,” said Wawruck. “Bus shelters will be installed on Route 75 and Schoepoester Road in the early spring.”
The town has been meeting with CRCOG and Connecticut Transit to determine the proper locations for the shelters, taking into account the “rights of way and line sight issues so motorists’ views aren’t hindered with the new shelters,” Wawruck added. The shelters will be maintained by Connecticut Transit. “Finally, all the riders on Conn. Transit who get picked up and dropped off to work in the restaurants, hotels and other businesses on this busy corridor will be provided shelter from the elements as they await the buses,” said Wawruck.
“We are hoping to receive final approval on a $1 million request for funding to install sidewalks along Route 75,” said McMahon. McMahon added that although the approval may be given in 2014, the work itself would not begin until 2015.
Route 75/Route 20 interchange
A topic of discussion for at least a couple of years now has been the complete redevelopment of the Route 75/Route 20 interchange. McMahon said that “a request to the state of Connecticut has been made for $1 million to assist in the costs of developing a new interchange and frontage road.” This would open up 17 acres to a new mixed-use development. “We are hoping the funding is approved at a future State Bond Commission meeting,” McMahon said.
Historic train station
“We are still awaiting the transfer of the property from Amtrak to the town for $1,” said McMahon. The town is hoping that will happen prior to June. “Once we have control of the property, a major fundraising push will commence,” he said.
“The Amtrak station purchase for $1 hit a couple snags with the final transaction and the finalization of the transfer should take place this year,” said Wawruck. “The purchase allows the town to move forward on the restoration of this landmark in the center of town.”
Once the property is purchased, McMahon said the town will apply for a $200,000 State Historic Restoration Fund Grant.
New train platform location
The push will continue for the relocation of the train platform back to the center of Windsor Locks. “We continue to work with the state of Connecticut regarding the relocation of the train platform to an area just north of the historic station,” said McMahon. “We are working with representatives of neighboring communities such as Windsor and Enfield to ensure enough funding for station area upgrades as part of the New Haven Hartford Springfield Commuter Rail Line.”
“With the startup of service just two years away, the decision should be forthcoming shortly and the town will continue to pursue this avenue to arrive at a successful outcome to spur growth on our Main Street corridor,” added Wawruck. “This project would be the catalyst for business growth in an area that has been hard-pressed since the redevelopment days of the early 1970s.”
The town will also continue to work with the new owner of the Montgomery Building, Dr. Mohan Sachdev, in moving redevelopment plans forward on that important parcel in the town center area.
Wawruck is asking residents for just a little more patience. “Some of the projects we talk about have been pending for a number of years and seem to have stalled, but each has merit and we continue to work with the state agencies involved to bring each to a successful conclusion,” he said.