Manchester panel weighs options for Broad Street park access

By Joseph T. O’Leary, Journal Inquirer

MANCHESTER — The Redevelopment Agency began talks this week on what features should be added to a planned extension linking Center Springs Park to Broad Street.

The town purchased land at a former Asian restaurant standing at 363 Broad St. with the intention of creating a new entrance point to the park on the property.

Once the restaurant is razed, work will begin on the new entrance, which is expected to have secondary effects in addition to providing easier park access.

Agency members have said the entrance will effectively connect more sections of Manchester and make the town more walkable. An individual would be able to walk from the Broad Street Parkade, through the park, to Town Hall and downtown Main Street.

It also supports the town’s efforts to focus on health and wellness, members said.

The agency was joined Thursday by a number of involved parties, including Chris Ferrero of the Fuss & O’Neill engineering and design firm, Chris Silver of the town’s Recreation Department, and Town Engineer Jeff LaMalva, on what aspects of the entrance should be emphasized.

An issue with the project is its limited scope. The agency wants to keep $800,000 in its Broad Street redevelopment fund, which currently holds $1.2 million before expenses of demolishing the restaurant are taken into account.

As a result, the scope of the project may be limited to the range of $300,000 to $400,000.

The discussion of features began with parking and motor vehicle access. 363 Broad St. currently has long strips of parking spaces running alongside its property borders, which align with the parking lots of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and J&M Motorsports.

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