One of New Britain's overpasses going into downtown is about to get more pedestrian friendly.
Preliminary renderings for the city's new Beehive Bridge show a honeycomb design drivers would be able to see from Route 72 and on either side of the bridge.
Plans include having bees decorate the bridge entryways, along with larger sidewalks and bike ways.
The honeycomb design comes from New Britain being known as the beehive city: the beehive is on the city's seal and the city is also the former home of Beehive Field.
“People are going to want to come to New Britain just to check this bridge out which means they are going to want to see what else we have to offer whether it’s terms of restaurants, bars, nightlife,” said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.
The bridge currently has six lanes and a small sidewalk path. The bridge would be converted into four lanes and a large pedestrian walkway, which allows bikes to easily pass through.
The cost of the project is $5.8 million. About $2 million comes from state grants, and the city is paying $1.2 million. The project becoming a reality depends on whether the State Bond Commission approves the rest of the money needed to pay for the project: $2.1 million dollars.
State Representative Rick Lopes, who represents New Britain, said that money will not come from the state’s General Fund Budget.
“Money is very tight right now in our general funding but when we do a large construction project, we bond it which is borrowed money and that’s because we’re expecting that bridge to last many, many years and that’s why it’s an acceptable use of borrowed money,” said Rep. Lopes.
If approved, construction is scheduled for spring of 2017 and will take approximately one year to complete.
The project is part of a seven phase project as the city beautifies its streetscapes.
The State Bond Commission is expected to approve the funds Friday.