Welcome center booth removed from park
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | April 06,2013
The welcome center came out of Main Street Park on Friday after at least a half-century of service.
City workers took down the structure, which had been staffed by the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, in preparation for changes to the park as part of the Routes 4 and 7 project.
The redesign of the park includes the removal of the curb access from Main Street to the center’s parking area.
There had been talk of selling the building to someone who would relocate it, but City Engineer Evan Pilachowski said there were no buyers when it went out to bid.
The chamber’s executive vice president, Thomas Donahue, has said the new office at the corner of West Street and Merchants Row will fulfill the role of the welcome center and that brochures are also on display at strategic locations like the airport, the train station and Diamond Run Mall.
In addition to the removal of the welcome center’s curb cut, the project will also eliminate the access to Main Street from Court Square, though the entry onto West Street will remain and the southern end will get a wide turnaround area.
Tree cutting has also begun in preparation for the project. Public Works Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg said the city intends to replace the trees being removed.
“They’ve tried to design it to minimize the impact on the park and on trees,” he said. “We’ll do our level best to make sure, along the entire corridor, that the city’s canopy is restored.”
The start date of construction on the project remains up in the air, Pilachowski said, as the Agency of Transportation and Vermont Railway work out issues arising from including rail crossings near Route 4 in the project.