Road works in Boston, Seaview avenues unrelated to the Remington Woods development

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BRIDGEPORT – After more than two decades, the city is moving forward with improvements to the intersection of Seaview and Boston avenues and Bond Street that were originally connected to a proposed office park at the neighboring Remington property Woods / Lake Success.

The public facilities department recently published an advertisement for the road works and is reviewing the responses of three contractors before awarding the bid.

Meanwhile, Mayor Joe Ganim’s administration has insisted that the effort – most paid off with around $ 10 million in long dormant federal credits – is for the benefit of new Warren Harding High School and the surrounding neighborhood, and should not be misinterpreted as a sign Remington Wood’s private owner is moving ahead with any redevelopment at this location.

“I don’t know what the original intention (of the road works) was. This is a 20, 25 year assignment received and never implemented, ”said City Engineer Jon Urquidi.

Urquidi said the opening of the new Harding building three years ago along Bond Street on the former General Electric site caused “a lot of congestion problems” in that area, with Seaview Avenue “in pretty bad shape. “because of years of underground utilities and neglect.

According to the State Department of Transportation, the scope of the project includes the realignment of the intersection of Seaview and Barnum avenues, “the rehabilitation of the pavement, the improvement of drainage, the replacement and upgrading of road sign equipment, new sidewalks and improvements to the streetscape ”, as well as the reconstruction of more than half of Bond Street to Stewart Street.

“That’s the whole gamut of civilian improvements,” Urquidi said.

But when initially considered in the late 1990s, according to DOT records, these upgrades were linked to an effort to transform part of the Remington Arms Co. blue collar ammunition test site in Remington Woods. / Lake Success in a white pass business park.

“Our design does not intend to absorb the traffic” of any future redevelopment, Urquidi said.

The 420-acre property, partially located in Stratford, is currently owned by a subsidiary of Dupont Corporation and is the subject of a long-standing industrial contamination cleanup involving the State Department of Energy and Protection. environment and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The office park concept languished for two decades and was constantly opposed by neighbors and conservation groups who want to preserve as much of the natural habitat in the woods as possible. The Sierra Club dubbed the land “the urban forest (and) the lungs of Bridgeport” and argued that it should be conserved for cleaner air as well as passive educational and recreational opportunities.

A Dupont spokesperson did not return requests for comment on future uses. According to the DEEP State, remediation work continues, particularly at Lake Success with the “treatment of … sediment to separate the remaining discarded military ammunition.” This should be completed in March 2023.

Urquidi said Dupont was recently consulted on the Seaview plans.

“When we design things like this, we have to take into account future volumes (of traffic),” he said. “They said there was no traffic volume for anything we were developing.” He said in the past it had been suggested that vehicles would enter an office park on the Stratford side.

“I can’t say what their development intention is. It is private property. I guess they could do whatever they want, ”Urquidi added of Dupont. “But from a city perspective, we are building this for safety improvements, road improvements, pedestrian improvements, and bicycle improvements.”

When last year Urquidi and staff at the Bridgeport Economic Development Office briefed City Council members on the planned relaunch of the long-term Seaview / Barnum / Bond works, they were suspected the end goal was the redevelopment of Remington.

“I really think that’s the reason,” City Councilor Matthew McCarthy said.

“The people of this neighborhood don’t want Remington Woods to develop,” said City Councilor Maria Pereira.

William Coleman, Deputy Director of Economic Development for Bridgeport, responded at the time: “The Seaview Avenue project is really envisioned as a project that will create a better and safer road network for local uses.

“This is not Dupont’s alley,” Coleman said. “It’s not.”

He also noted that the city’s 10-year master plan adopted in 2019 placed less emphasis on building in Remington.

This online document states that “Significant areas, such as the Remington Woods / Lake Success property, offer the city a chance to increase its publicly accessible open space and protected natural habitat, while also generating economic development opportunities. “.

The plan then specifies that the city will work in partnership with Dupont and “interested conservation groups … urban forest.”


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