Work crews began removing hundreds of feet of trees planted along the access road to the new 911 call center site on Friday, November 19. The 911 call center is currently under construction behind the Hutchinson Metro Center at 1200-50 Waters Place, on a spot of land near where Pelham Parkway and the Hutchinson River Parkway meet.
The City acquired the street, which will be called Marconi Street once it has been brought up to code.
The Department of Disign and Construction is currently widening the roadway and installing utility lines and a sidewalk that will run the entire length from Waters Place. To accommodate the improvements, all current trees and shrubs were removed along the whole length of roadway y. These were originally planted by the developer of the Hutchinson Metro Center, Simone Development, to create an office-park atmosphere.
“When we purchased the original site, the owners of the Hutchinson Metro Center were granted an easement to utilize the road and make improvements and maintain it,” said Joseph Kelleher, the excutive director of leasing and property management for the Hutchinson Metro Center. “We planted trees and shrubbery to beautify the sides of road.
Kelleher said that the city has cut down the trees to make way for the ultities needed for the 911 call center, which will rise about 250 feet when finished. The now tree-less street, the widened Marconi Street, will still run in both directions. Kelleher said that there would be improvements to the street after the work is completed.
“One of the things that the city has chosen to do is to widen Marconi Street and install sidewalks,” Kelleher said. “This is a good thing because there is not a sidewalk there now.”
Kelleher said the owners of the Hutchinson Metro Center are pushing for a new exit from the southbound Hutchinson River Parkway that could serve as a second access road to the office park, and to the 911 call center site. He said they are also looking for a bus line to service both the 911 call center and the 3,000 employees working at the Hutchinson Metro Center. The closest bus is presently on Waters Place. The complex is a quarter mile from the main roadway.
“A road off of the Hutchinson River Parkway is currently under study by the city, and we understand through our own study that the road is necessary to provide enough access to further enhance economic development,” Kelleher said.
“We feel that with what is happening at Waters Place, we need a road leading from the Hutchinson River Parkway. The community has also voiced concern about traffic with the construction on Waters Place. We feel that as traffic capacity increases, we will need more options.”
As for the present roadway, according to DDC spokesman Craig Chin, the city will replace the trees moved and plant 79 additional trees in the call center construction site aera. He said the current private road does not meet city standards. Chin said that road, which had been called Industrial Street, will be called Marconi Street, once work is complete and it is officially mapped.