Monday, August 19, 2013

New Entry Way to Tunnel to Riverfront Closed Until Completion

Designed by local  Middletown  resident & Architect Lee Osborne, the new structure at the entry way of the tunnel located in Melilli Plaza that runs under  Route 9 going into interstate 91 to the river front was open for the Fourth of July celebrations, but,  now temporarily closed until all the finishing touches are complete. These include painting the railings and security cameras. The structure was paid for by grant money  at a cost of $675,000 in order to make the tunnel to the park handicap accessible. The City had applied for this grant about six years ago during the previous administration, and now the hard work has come to fruition. The slopes of the long ramps now comply with the American Disabilities Act meeting regulations that allow for safe use by persons in wheel chairs. Frequently the tunnel is subject to graffiti and because of the shelter it provides, the homeless use this as a place to sleep out of the elements. The drains in the tunnel which are in place to help floods reside, have become targets of people urinating in the tunnel. New security cameras and additional lighting seek to eliminate this problem. 

The tunnel, open over the weekend, has been locked from the gate at the park side entrance. The grant did not cover work inside the tunnel, however the tunnel has received a new coat of paint.Ironically, we started a draft of the same topic before we saw the article on Patch. Please find additional details about the security cameras is provided in a great article by Cassandra Day at Middletown Patch:

Please see our pictures below of views inside the new structure.
Walls with built in lighting inside new ramp structure at riverfront tunnel entry
Handicap Accessible ramp.
Clerestory looking up inside the new structure at Melilli Plaza leading to tunnel under the highway.

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