Bondage launches long-delayed Madison Center project

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MADISON – The long-delayed Madison Center project to revitalize the downtown core has received a boost with the recent advance in utility relocation efforts, officials said.

First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons said the city is moving forward with its downtown utility relocation project, which removes utility poles and wires and buries power lines underground.

An exceptional electrical easement, required for Eversource to remove utility poles and wires from properties, was filed by Eversource with the City Clerk of the Properties at 690 and 710 Boston Post Road and initiated the project, which had been suspended.


The city can now begin removing the posts on the south side of Boston Post Road.

The project was first explored in the early 2000s, but work did not officially begin until the summer of 2015.

The first phase of construction, as described in Madison 2021-22 Capital Improvement Plans, included the completion of the Wall Street brick walkway partly on Route 1, which was completed in 2016, followed by the cutting down of utility poles and the connection of electrical service for businesses to underground conduits, this which is not yet finished.

The plan says the city had already spent around $ 1 million of its own funds and $ 1.8 million in grants previously allocated for the project – and that it would take significantly more to complete the project.

In January, when the capital improvement plans were proposed, there were three easements outstanding – the most recent obtained on the south side and two on the north side of the street.

A north side easement at 725 Boston Post Road was completed earlier this year, and one remains on the adjoining property at 703 Boston Post Road.

Eversource, the city and the owners are in negotiations for the remaining easement but expect to reach an agreement soon, the city said in a statement.

Madison requested and received an additional $ 355,000 in this year’s capital plan to complete the easements.

Lyons said in a recent statement that she recognizes that everyone involved in this project is eager to see it move forward after years of obstacles and delays.

“The removal of the utility poles will be of huge benefit to the entire Madison community and I’m delighted that the process can finally move forward for at least the south side of the street for now,” Lyons said.

“In addition to creating a nicer mainstreet atmosphere, underground electrical service will provide more reliable service to business owners and should improve long-term property values ​​for commercial property owners,” he said. she declared.

Lyons added that she hopes they can end this phase of the project soon.

Next steps include coordinating with local owners along Route 1 to finalize electrical work, awarding a construction contract to complete the infrastructure, and working with Eversource to move electrical service from poles to poles. underground conduits, according to a statement.

The expected completion date for the south side of the street is summer 2022.

Phase two of the downtown project includes the extension of the streetscape project midway on Route 1 to Route 79, which has not been done in previous years due to offers that were over budget for the project. This led to the abandonment of the project plan and its integration into a larger plan to connect the Green to the city center.

The project budget is $ 1.2 million, of which $ 200,000 is reserved for the design phase and $ 1 million for construction.

The extension is currently scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2024 and end in fiscal year 2026.

christine.derosa@hearstmediact.com


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