March 30, 2014 01:00AM
By Dan Brechlin
MERIDEN — After a cold and snowy winter, work resumed at the Hub site last week and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
The $13 million Hub project is years in the making and initial work on the 14-acre site got underway in early January, when trees, curbing, light poles and a former bank building that stood at the southwest corner of the parcel were removed.
Shortly after the work began, the area was hit with several snowstorms that blanketed the city. Cold temperatures left snow on the site until recently.
The long winter allowed time for the general contractor, Meriden-based LaRosa Construction, to firm up its environmental remediation plans for the contaminated Brownfields site.
“They are moving the topsoil and have started removing the gravel from where the parking lot was,” Public Works Director Robert Bass said. “They are doing that in preparation ... for remediation.”
There are five specific “hot spots,” where there is a “higher concentration of pollutants,” around the site, Bass said.
Soil from those five locations has been removed or is in the process of being moved, mostly toward the north end of the Hub site near Mill Street. A large pile of soil in the center of the site has also been relocated. In total, close to 100,000 tons of soil will be removed from the Hub over the next 18 months, though a significant amount of that earth will be re-purposed on the site.
The redevelopment project includes uncovering Harbor Brook and using the site for flood control. It will double as a park with an amphitheater, pedestrian bridge, walking trails and other amenities.
In the coming weeks, a web camera will be added to the site so that residents can view progress. Bass said the equipment has been ordered.