Council may bring SignPro on board to help with Beehive Bridge design

Published on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 21:31
Written by Skyler Frazer

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN - The city may soon receive some outside help to make its Beehive Bridge project design affordable.

In its meeting tonight, the Common Council will potentially authorize Mayor Erin Stewart to hire SignPro Inc. to help the city develop design and construction solutions to bring the project within its original budget.

According to the resolution on today’s agenda, contractor bids for the project came back above budget when the city sent it out to bid in April. As a result, officials have broken the project into two components - one focused on the art and architecture of the project and the other on the bridge and roadway work of the project.

SignPro will help bring the project’s pedestrian enclosure, sculptures and specialty lighting within the city’s funding limits.

The more than $5 million for the city’s Beehive Bridge project comes from a variety of federal, state and local funds. $2.1 million is coming by way of state bonding and the Connecticut Department of Transportation has committed $700,000 to the project. $1.6 million will come from Federal Transit Administration Bus Livability Funds and the city is contributing $1.4 million.

In other action tonight, the council is also expected to:

n Approve purchasing orders needed to begin the Public Works Department’s 2017 Pavement Rehabilitation Program.

$2 million is allocated in the city’s budget for the milling and paving of various city streets during the rehabilitation program.

Depending on the contractor’s availability to meet the city’s schedule, either Garrity Asphault Reclaiming or Tilcon Connecticut Inc. will be hired for their services.

In her budget proposal unveiled in April, Stewart said that the money will go to repair 42 streets in the city over the summer, including many around city schools.

The 2017 Pavement Rehabilitation Program is set to begin in August.

n Hire a contractor to begin constructing the city’s 65th Infantry Regiment Monument. The city sent out invitations to bid on the project honoring the Borinqueneers to 19 different contractors, but only LaRosa Earth Group of Meriden submitted a bid. The company’s bid met all project specifications, so the council is expected to “ok” a purchasing order of $280,000 to LaRosa Earth Group for its services.

Connecticut’s Bonding Committee approved funding for this project and will reimburse the city up to $300,000 for the monument.

n Discuss an amendment to the code of ordinances related to beekeeping in the city. Alderman Daniel Salerno said the topic of beekeeping was brought up by a resident who heard about limitations in West Hartford’s beekeeping-related ordinance.

Salerno said New Britain does allow beekeeping, though it is unclear currently in the code of ordinances. Salerno said the amendment will clarify that it is indeed legal to raise bees in the city. The amendment will be forwarded to committee to review and research the language of the amendment.

“It’s not about making new laws, it’s about making the laws we already have work,” Salerno said.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, New Britain on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 21:31. Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2017 21:34.