Public works has once again closed the pedestrian tunnel that connects downtown Middletown to the Connecticut River for the final stages of electrical and roof work.
The newly constructed Harbor Park walkway, with a price tag of $675,000, was open for about a week surrounding the Fourth of July holiday to allow pedestrians access to the city's fireworks festival and patriotic display. According to Deputy Public Works Director Robert Dobmeier, that was prior to the laying of green steel roofing. Construction of the new tunnel and walkway started in the beginning of November.
Dobmeier said crews worked up until the big snow storm in February, then resumed again in April.
"During the roof installation period and electrical work in the tunnel and on the other side of the tunnel, it has been closed," he said. Both projects should be complete in the next few weeks, Dobmeier said. Workers are waiting for security cameras, which are on order, and a few other minor details.
Meantime, the only access to Harbor Park is from deKoven Drive and River Road in Middletown. Normally, during August, the Harbor Park tunnel is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
The now larger entrance has a double staircase, is handicap-accessible and soon will be electronically monitored from the police department and city hall.
The pedestrian walkway to the water, which connects Harbor Park, the Connecticut River and the Mattabesett Canoe Club restaurant to the rest of downtown, is now compliant with the American with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design.