The rerouting of electrical wires currently running under Owen Dolen Park should not substantially delay construction on the $5 million park renovation.
At the start of August, when Con Edison began work on burying feeder power cables currently underneath the park around the perimeter of Owen Dolen, it caused concern that the parks’ reconstruction might be delayed.
A deal worked out by Councilman Jimmy Vacca on the timetable of the project will allow the Owen Dolen contractor to begin work on the park in mid-September, working around areas in the park that Con Edison needs access to complete its work.
“I worked with the Parks Department, Con Edison, the Mayor’s Office, and the contractor to insure as early a start date as possible to the project, and helped coordinate the schedules of Con Edison and the contractor to make sure that construction moves along as efficiently as possible,” Vacca said. “After putting in $4.5 million dollars, I am glad that Con Edison already has the shovel in the ground, and the contractor will be starting in mid-September.”
Improvements to the park will include new performance space, and a new public plaza, as well as new fencing and more open space.
Since the work will be done between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., there should not be a major disruption to the businesses located in Westchester Square, said Association of Merchants and Business Professionals of Westchester Square program director Joe Regina.
“The project should take four months. First they have to do all the digging and install new manholes and then do all of the cabling,” Regina said.
The cables will be rerouted up Lane Avenue towards E. Tremont Avenue, where they will join with existing underground feeder cables that service the area, said Con Edison spokesman Rolando Infante.
For the first two months the construction will involve installing conduits that will hold the new feeder cables, and portions of the sidewalk surrounding the park will be dug up, Infante said.
“Any open trench will be covered by steel plates during the daytime,” Infante said. “By the end of September and into October, Con Edison crews will begin to pull cables through the new conduits, and in November connect and energize the new feeder cables.”
All of Con Edison supplemental work in support of the Owen Dolen project is expected to be complete by early December, and customers in the area have been notified about the work, Infante said.