by Terry Rogers
Residents will soon notice changes to the Milford Riverwalk as deck boards are scheduled for replacement. According to Brad Dennehy, Director of Milford Parks and Recreation, all deck boards on the elevated wooden areas of the Riverwalk will be replaced. Wooden guardrails will be pressure washed with areas identified as needing it replaced or repaired. The guardrail caps will be replaced in those areas and the pedestrian bridges will have new decking material.
“The decking will be replaced with a composite-type deck material which is longer lasting and resistant to splitting,” Dennehy said. “The pedestrian bridges use a heavier type of timber and will have to be replaced with the same material as it forms a structural integrity on the bridge.”
Dennehy explained that the wood decking is exposed to all the elements which has led to deterioration. In some areas, the wood has become compromised which creates safety concerns for pedestrians. Residents often report areas that are damaged and call in reports to the Parks Department. Over the years, the Department has performed emergency repairs, but the long-term solution is to replace the areas with boards that are more durable and considered better decking material.
“The City of Milford realizes the importance of the Riverwalk and what an asset it is to the community,” Dennehy said. “They have placed money aside over the last three years as part of capital funds A grant of $75,000 was also obtained from DNREC, specifically the Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program. Four local legislators, namely Senator Simpson, Representatives Kenton, Postles and Wilson, have also verbally agreed to commit funds with an agreement to follow.” Dennehy explained that the new decking will eliminate safety concerns, extend the life of the Riverwalk and make it visibly more appealing.
During construction, some areas of the Riverwalk will be closed due to demolition and rebuilding. There will be notification regarding which sections will be closed, when the closure will occur and for how long once the Department has identified the start of construction. Milford City Council awarded a contract to Gerardi Construction for $294,082.07 to complete the project. It is anticipated that construction will begin in late spring with completion in the fall.
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