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WEST HAVEN, Jan. 24, 2023 — In preparation for the second phase of this year’s road-raising project, the city is permanently removing the Beach Street Skatepark.
On Monday night, Jan. 23, the City Council unanimously approved funds to dismantle the shoreline skateboard park. The money was initially approved by the West Haven ARPA Committee and is provided by the city’s American Rescue Plan Act spending plan through a grant from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The city awarded the skatepark contract, called “Demolition of Cement Structures,” in early November to Cerilli Construction LLC, which submitted the lowest bid of $23,525, said Ernie Chiarelli, the project coordinator and sidewalk inspector for the Department of Public Works.
By comparison, Chiarelli said the highest bidder submitted a proposal of $60,800 for the work.
Under the bid specifications, Cerilli, based in North Haven, is tasked with taking apart the park’s huge precast concrete ramps, removing the remaining asphalt, transporting the demolished concrete and asphalt to a location determined by the city, and removing and reinstalling the existing chain-link fencing.
The 170-by-90-foot park was constructed in 2004 for $96,000 by Skate Parks Inc. of Scituate, Massachusetts, and is based in the Morse Park municipal parking lot next to the former Chick’s Drive-in restaurant.
According to Chiarelli and other city officials, the 19-year-old skatepark has fallen into disrepair and out of popularity in recent years. Vandalism has caused dangerous conditions for skateboarders, and flooding from the nearby Old Field Creek salt marsh has deteriorated the concrete ramps, making them a liability, he said.
In addition, the raising of Beach Street is slated to incorporate 25% of the skatepark along the fence line and would force the city to relocate the park.
Chiarelli said that according to estimates, relocating the skatepark would cost at least $60,000, not including surface preparation work, such as installing an asphalt pad and fencing.
But after consulting with contractors, Chiarelli said the city determined that relocating the park could not work because the concrete ramps would likely fall apart when moved “due to concrete degradation.”
The demolition work is expected to begin within two weeks and take about 10 days to complete.