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Additional Benches, Bike Fix-It Station Coming to Collinsville Trail

April 6, 2016 Arts and Entertainment, Business, Community, Government No Comments
These 8-foot benches were recently installed along the Farmington River Trail in Collinsville. Photo by John Fitts, via instagram

These 8-foot benches were recently installed along the Farmington River Trail in Collinsville.
Photo by John Fitts, via instagram

By John Fitts 

The recent installation of two eight-foot benches along the Farmington River Trail in downtown Collinsville signify just part of what is to come to the area.

The two galvanized steel benches, installed along the trail in front of the Crown and Hammer Pub and Restaurant, were crafted by New London artist Jesse Maxwell Good.

Good also crafted four additional four-foot benches that were also recently delivered to the town. Those are due to be placed along the trail near the information kiosk but weren’t immediately installed because of the sideways slope to the trail. Good is now investigating ways to level the benches without sacrificing their structural integrity.

The benches were part of the first phase of Streetscape improvements for downtown Collinsville. Most of that work was done last year at an approximate cost of $500,000, from which $387,000 was from a Connecticut Main Street grant. 

Neil Pade, the town’s director of Planning and Community Development, said the town initially looked at standard “catalog” benches but, with input from the Collinsville Historic District, decided to look at other options.

“We went ahead and got something more special and unique to Collinsville that was more in touch with the manufacturing history here,” Pade said.

The benches were $1,500 each for the 8-foot and $1,100 each for the four-foot, similar to many mass-produced options in national catalogs.

The four-feet benches will likely be installed in pairs, with room between for tables. The town hopes to eventually secure donations to pay for the tables.

Another trail amenity that will be installed soon is a bike Fix-It Station. That is a donation of the Farmington Valley Trails Council.

Trails Council president Bruce Donald said the tubular station includes a place to hang a bike, as well as a freestanding pump and tools for basic bike maintenance.

The Trails Council also funded the downtown Kiosk and a portion of the water foundations, a collaboration with the Farmington Valley YMCA. In all, the donation from the trails council is nearing $18,000.

“The idea was always that we wanted to help with the beautification of Collinsville,” Donald said.

The kiosk has a wealth of informational potential and the trail in general is great for economic development, he said.

It also adds to the sense of the village as a hub – but one that retains its character.

“It’s just been phenomenal for the town,” Donald said.
Pade agreed.

“The goal has always been to make Collinsville a special place along the trail and this helps to create it as a destination,” he said.

The town is currently in the process of seeking grants to work on additional downtown improvements.

See more of Good’s work at http://jessemgood.com/jessemgood/Home.html

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