Town Park improvements to become more concrete
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Sidewalks, parking spaces, retaining walls and drainage fields will be installed in Madison’s new Town Park in the coming weeks, making visible for the first time concrete advancements in the development of the space.
The grading on the site—handled gratis by the county—has been complete for nearly a month, but other contracts were delayed by complications in the bid process. As of this week, Madison’s Downtown Development Association has either signed or expects to sign contracts for curb, gutter and drainage; retaining walls, steps and walkways within the park; and the renovation of the 19th-century cottage on the property.
City and DDA officials are particularly eager to see sidewalks and parking spaces go in around the park.
“I call that the picture frame that will frame the park,” said City Manager David Nunn at the Madison City Council’s regular meeting Monday night.
Contract “2.1,” as the DDA calls it, for the curbs and gutters, has already been signed; Rendrag Construction could have that work complete within 90 days. “2.2,” the contract for the retaining wall and walkways, was approved by the DDA at its regular meeting Tuesday morning, pending final approval of the bid documents.
“You’re a long way toward where you want to be, with [the completion of] 2.2,” said Nunn.
And contract “2.3,” the work on the cottage, has already been bid on but DDA members will not select a contractor for a couple more weeks, at least, as they plan to conduct interviews with each of the bidders.
“The [cottage] is fragile,” said Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan. “We thought it was important to meet with the contractors to talk about its historic properties.”
Prior to awarding the cottage bid, the DDA will also have to determine how it will finance the remaining costs related to the park; although approximately $1.4 million in donations have come in to support construction of the park and its various attributes, the final tab will require some financing structure to be put in place.
But the most recent bids were in line with budgeted figures for those projects.
“I’m actually encouraged, looking at these numbers, “ said Callahan.
This week, citizens will see work ongoing at the park that will ultimately lead to the removal of four utility poles around the square; conduit is being laid that will allow electricity, cable, and other utilities to go underground.