Planning for the Luongo Square Enhancement Project at the intersection of Carpenter and West Fountain Streets began in 2003. After many years of fundraising, advocacy and more planning, construction on the project was started in December 2015, and now – with spring weather in full swing – is actively underway with a projected completion date of Fall 2016.
Last week WBNA received a donation of over 300 cobblestones to the project. While not yet determined, these cobblestones will most likely be used as a feature encircling the fountain. Many thanks to Old World Cobble, Waterson Terminal Services and ProvPort for this generous gift, to the Mayor's Office for coordinating the donation, to Sal Solomon and the Department of Public Works for transporting the cobblestones, and to JKL Engineering storing them until their installation.
A group of neighbors and stakeholders including local business owners, the Providence Revolving Fund, WBNA and elected officials, has been working with Nate Urso and Craig Hochman from the City of Providence's Department of Public Works to monitor the quality and execution of the project since construction began.
The group is conducting bi-weekly inspections of the project and its progress, and recently identified a quality issue that necessitated the removal of some of the sidewalks that had just been installed. The sidewalks will be repoured to proper specifications at the contractor's expense.
At this week's meeting of the working group, DPW's Craig Hochman reviewed blueprints and scheduling for Phase I of the project, paid for by a $150,000 grant secured by Councilman Principe and contracted by Cardi Corporation. Granite steps will be installed within the week as well as the pouring of concrete sidewalks.
Phase II is slated to begin in about a month by Lynch and is supported by federal funds. This phase includes installation of the fountain and surface material on the inner square and the creation of new sidewalks on the outer square.
Design issues were discussed such as ADA compliance and the use of exposed aggregate sidewalks in some areas of the square. An update was given on Providence Water's repair of cobblestones that the utility company removed on West Fountain Street. And forming a friends group was discussed for the ongoing maintenance of the square, once completed.
WBNA appreciates the care and interest taken by neighbors, business owners, elected officials and the City of Providence in getting this project done well.