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April 22, 2024

Hartford P&Z to discuss pedestrian bridge for new CT Children’s tower

Contributed An architect's drawing shows the proposed pedestrian bridge at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.

Hartford planning officials this week will discuss plans to authorize a pedestrian bridge over Washington Street that would connect a new tower wing of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center with a new parking garage.

During a meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m., the city Planning & Zoning Commission and Inland Wetlands Commissions will review a resolution referred by the city’s Court of Common Council that would grant air rights and a sidewalk easement for the elevated walkway.

In a letter to members of the Court of Common Council, including President Shirley Surgeon, Mayor Arunan Arulampalam said the bridge will cross over Washington Street, a public right-of-way controlled by the city. 

“In addition,” he states, “the planned improvements include the creation of a bus turn-in lane, necessitating the relocation of the existing public sidewalk onto the adjoining privately controlled property of Hartford Hospital and (Connecticut Children's) campus, requiring the city’s acceptance of a permanent easement” to allow it.

Last year, Connecticut Children’s broke ground on a $280 million expansion that will reshape its Washington Street campus and include a new 195,000-square-foot, eight-story patient tower. 

The existing Hartford facility has about 321,000 square feet with 187 beds. The new tower will be anchored to the existing building.

In addition, LAZ Parking plans to build a parking garage across Washington Street that will be leased to the medical center. In January, the owner of J Restaurant Bar in Hartford sold numerous Washington Street properties, including vacant land and buildings, for $7 million to LAZ Parking.

The commission’s review of the proposal to grant the air rights and sidewalk easement is to ensure the plan meets the requirements of the city’s plan of conservation and development.

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