WRA to fund Airport Industrial Road work

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Redevelopment Authority will fund the final engineering and design work needed to secure a $2 million state grant for construction of the Airport Industrial Park Road.
The city has been qualified for the grant of $2 million through the Executive Office of Development & Housing to reconstruct the exterior access road, Airport Industrial Park Road, in the northeast corner of Barnes Regional Airport, but needs to complete the engineering effort and to secure municipal control of the land needed for the construction project.
The City Council approved $78,500 to buy two parcels and to fund a permanent easement for a third parcel to give the city the state required control of the land where Airport Industrial Park Road will intersect with North Road.
City Advancement Officer Jeff Daley said yesterday to the members of the Westfield Redevelopment Authority, which will eventually develop a new commercial park on the northeast corner of Barnes Regional Airport, that there is sufficient funding in the 2013 budget to accomplish the final preliminary engineering work to secure release of the state grant money.
Construction of the roadway will also include installation of underground infrastructure, sewers, water and gas lines, which will be needed to support development of the commercial/industrial park.
“We’re very close to getting a contract signed for the grant,” Daley said. “We’re in the final stages of getting the $2 million MassDevelopment grant.”
Daley said that board had requested a 2013 budget of $213,000, but Mayor Daniel M. Knapik cut that request to $83,700.
“The amount approved by the City Council, the $83,700 is sufficient to complete the pre-development work to get the $2 million state grant,” Daley said. “We hope to begin construction this fall, have a contractor in place by October.”
There will be a stipulation in the construction contract to keep the road open to traffic this winter.
In other business, Daley said that currently the Turnpike Industrial Park project is stalled.
“The Turnpike Industrial Park is not moving, that was the money cut out of the (2013) budget,” Daley said. “Mayor (Daniel M.) Knapik has said that he will try the remaining (budget funding) when free cash becomes available. We do have a preliminary draft concept plan that was drawn up by Tighe & Bond, but that project will take a lot of money.”
Daley said environmental work, done nearly 20 years ago when the city was seeking a state permit to construct a new landfill off Cabot Road, will have to be reviewed and revised for the 68-acre industrial project and that the city will have to extend infrastructure into the site, which could be costly considering the distance between the developed area of Turnpike Industrial Road and the industrial park land.

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