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HartfordTycoon

Meriden: Plan to Unbury Downtown River

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This should increase property values in their Downtown. On another note, Meriden and Middletown need to work more closely together in order to create a real sense of place and identity for that region. They have a few things going for them, they are the crossroads for Hartford and New Haven and if the commuter line is built they will be positioned to take advantage of it. You can easily commute to Hartford or New Haven from that part of the state.

Meriden Closing In On New Downtown

Meriden - Meriden is one step closer to realizing its dream of a revitalized downtown. It's a plan that involves bringing back a buried river.

Meriden has an overall plan for a huge area of downtown. But what's called the "hub" of this has a problem: It's prone to flooding. The plan is to take the problem and turn it into a plus.

The river that causes the flooding is presently buried under concrete and asphalt. The plan is to bring it back to the surface and surround it with a park, complete with walking trails, an amphitheatre and a striking pedestrian flyover bridge.

WFSB Story

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Meriden - Meriden is one step closer to realizing its dream of a revitalized downtown. It's a plan that involves bringing back a buried river.

Good for them, I don't think I've ever been to downtown Meriden, but bringing back a water source can never be a bad thing. Let's hope Hartford can follow suit with the Park River.

Anyone know how big this river is? Is it like the Park River in Hartford (small river) or the river that runs through downtown Providence (medium river)?

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Good for them, I don't think I've ever been to downtown Meriden, but bringing back a water source can never be a bad thing. Let's hope Hartford can follow suit with the Park River.

Anyone know how big this river is? Is it like the Park River in Hartford (small river) or the river that runs through downtown Providence (medium river)?

I don't know. I bet there are people in Meriden who don't even know that they have a river.

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Downtown Meriden actually has the potential to be REALLY nice, not sure where that river flows through, but good for them. My grandmother lives 4 blocks from there, I'll have to take a little walk over....

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I bet there are people in Meriden who don't even know that they have a river.

LOL, true. :D

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LOL, true. :D

Thats great news for Meriden. Have you guys seen downtown Middletown during the weekend? It's hopping now. I'm glad to see my hometown doing good.

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Thats great news for Meriden. Have you guys seen downtown Middletown during the weekend? It's hopping now. I'm glad to see my hometown doing good.

Yeah, Downtown Middletown is doing very well from what I saw the last time I passed through. I saw that one of the riverboats that used to be in Hartford will start being stationed in Middletown. That should do well down there too.

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Yeah, Downtown Middletown is doing very well from what I saw the last time I passed through. I saw that one of the riverboats that used to be in Hartford will start being stationed in Middletown. That should do well down there too.

Yep... it can't hurt that Weseleyan is right there. I wish they'd build a new bridge though... too narrow for my liking.

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Yep... it can't hurt that Weseleyan is right there. I wish they'd build a new bridge though... too narrow for my liking.

They did do a lot of repairs to the bridge a few years back.

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Project Website

The City is involved in a strategic planning process that will create a new vision for the entire downtown area. This vision includes the restoration of Harbor Brook, creation of a town-green, economic development options, and transit-oriented development opportunities. A state-of the art intermodal transportation center is also planned which will take advantage of the State of CT

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HubReuseConceptFinal.jpg

Purdy.

I have never been to Meriden but parks and rivers cant hurt anything in a downtown.

I did look over the downtown on virtual earth a few months ago and though that this site could really be a key to making this towns downtown something special.

now that I see how this site would fill a few small holes along Colony. tie in the trans station and set the groundwork for the commputer rail, and create a very nice public space I am really quite interested.

I might try and do some kind of overlay with that rendering and a Virtual earth image later on at home.

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I grew up in Meriden, and the body of water in question, Harbor Brook, ran through my grandparent's back yard. It's not a big river, probably about 15 or so feet wide. One problem is that the river ran right by all of the old silver factories, so its pretty darn polluted. Also, the river had big time flooding issues, eventually forcing my grandparent's to move (and wrecking a bunch of downtown businesses in the process). I guess this plan would rectify that, which by itself would be positive for the city.

From a large perspective, Meriden's downtown is in really bad shape. Most of its historical core was wrecked, except for a stretch of West Main and Colony St. The rest, along East Main, Pratt, Crown, and and Hanover Streets has completely lost its urban charachter. If you have google Earth or the like, look at the Wachovia branch on East Main for a good example of this. Further, even the part along W. Main that has retained its urban character has alot of parking lots or poorly designed new buildings like the Superior Court/Polic complex and the Boy's Club. Just recently on Colony a national register building was demolished. Further, there are absolutely NO businesses in the Meriden's downtown. Other crappy downtowns like Bristol's or New Britain's have at least a few bars or stores that people might want to visit. Not so for Meriden. Further, the way the town has grown, with commercial strips on its east and west ends (and 691 to move you between them) nobody goes through downtown. In fact, Meriden's downtown almost acts like a barrier between the two sides of the city that don't really interact much with each other; rather than the central focus that pulls them together like it should. Finally, Meriden's leadership is horrible, doing things like building a new hospital on the outskirts of town, after just enlarging the old one that was centrally located downtown and helped put feet on the street, then leaving the old one to rot, and now already claiming that the new one needs to be expanded.

That said, Meriden does have some positive things going for it. Just west of the downtown, on a hill above it, is one of the town's exclusive neighborhoods from the the late 1800's. It still has a ton of old Victorian mansions and it could really be rehabilitated into an awesome neighborhood. Also, Lewis Avenue, the town's main strip between downtown and the Meriden Mall/691 is also still completely intact (despite the former Mayor's best efforts) and also has alot of potential. The thing is, Meriden needs to realize that it isn't Wallingford or Southington, its not a suburb with alot of undeveloped land. It needs to put its development efforts into its strengths, namely its remaining urban assets. If the town is going to be successful, it needs to be along the lines of other small cities that have revitalized. To the extent that this project is a move in that direction I'm happy, but Meriden will most likely find a way to screw it up.

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www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19789088&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592709&rfi=6

Last year the state legislature picked Meriden and several other communities to receive money to study development near transportation centers, or transit-oriented development. The city, which hopes a revitalized transit hub will be part of a downtown renaissance, is looking to be first in line for the grants.

"My understanding is we are the first unofficial draft, so when they do decide to allocate the funds, we'll be right there," said Juliet Burdelski, city grants administrator, who submitted a plan to the state earlier this month.

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That is very interesting. So, we could have commuter service on Amtrack starting up sooner than the actual line does. I'm all for that.

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Interesting!

So if Meriden gets its act together as it seems they are we could have an interesting thing happening. Take the above plan and assume that they get a nice grant due to being prompt and thourough. Add Wallingford what they are planning and then call Amtrack. POW you got the begining of a commuter rail.

also remember the Waterbury Bristol rail thing. If those guys get any encouragement this commputer rail might be built around hartford if it is willing to participate or not :P

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It could happen. Shoreline East is just the state contracting out to Amtrak.

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