By EMMA BARTLETT
In-house site work on the Knightsville revitalization is ready to start, according to Chief of Staff Anthony Moretti. The project is part of Mayor Ken Hopkins’ …
In-house site work on the Knightsville revitalization is ready to start, according to Chief of Staff Anthony Moretti. The project is part of Mayor Ken Hopkins’ revitalization plan for Cranston. So far, work to Pawtuxet Village and Rolfe Square has been completed.
In-house site work will include removing existing shrubs, trees and potentially leveling the hill. Moretti said the bid packages for the design plans are in the process of being sent out to potential contractors in the coming weeks, and the city hopes to break ground this fall. Depending on the weather conditions this winter, the city hopes to have the park operational for visitors next summer.
The pocket park, street lights and sidewalks are designed to mimic those in Itri, Italy – a sister city of Knightsville. The two locations share strong ties to one another due to the large wave of Itrani immigrants that settled in Knightsville after immigrating to the states. In 2018, Itrani Mayor Antonio Fargiorgio visited Cranston and officially dubbed the two sister cities. Cranston now plans to revitalize the area and replicate the area after Itri to honor the local Itranis’ heritage.
Knightsville revitalization includes the construction of a pocket park that will incorporate a brand-new gazebo, a pergola, bocce courts and walkways. The City plans to level the hill and the new gazebo – which will be ADA compliant – will be installed near the middle of the park. Moretti said Department of Public Works engineers believe the gazebo is at the end of its life and would require substantial capital for a rotting structure.
Depending on the bids, Moretti said the city could adjust the scope of the project accordingly – saying there is flexibility to pull back some of the complexities like the park fountain, bocce courts and pergola.
In addition to the pocket park, the city is replacing the sidewalks and lighting in the Knightsville area. The current brickwork, which was installed 30 to 40 years ago, has buckled from tree roots and makes the sidewalks dangerous for pedestrians; also, the trees along the sidewalks are dying. Pressed concrete will replace the bricks and look like stone work from Itri. Additionally, new lamp posts are to be installed and hold the same lanterns as those in Itri.
The city is receiving multiple state grants for the project’s pocket park and gazebo. Hopkins is also working with Congressmen Jack Reed and Jim Langevin on obtaining federal funding for the Knightsville project. Moretti said the city is optimistic on the funding, with more details coming soon; Cranston will also be working with the Community Development Department and the city’s capital funds to bring the project to life. When the initiative was announced in the beginning of the year, it was projected to cost $2.5 million. No revised estimates have been provided by the administration.
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