“With the new bike path and everything going on at Rocky Point, I thought it would be great to reopen Meadowview Avenue as a bike path and pedestrian path almost as a continuation of Rocky Point,” Ward 5 Councilman John DelGiudice said during an interview Saturday morning.
In addition to the path, DelGiudice is looking forward to seeing the installation of 10 concealment cell phone towers to help enhance cell phone reception in the city while generating revenues for the city. Unlike typical towers, these are designed to resemble flagpoles, even trees, to better blend in with local scenery.
After the City Council, as well as the mayor, recently approved legislation DelGiudice drafted requesting the Department of Public Works (DPW) to evaluate Meadowview Avenue to see if the project was feasible, work to rebuild the road will soon take shape and Meadowview Avenue, which is about a quarter-mile long, will reopen as a bike and pedestrian path by the end of the summer or early autumn.
The road formerly connected Palmer Avenue and Warwick Neck Avenue and was closed in 1988 due to a resolution DelGiudice’s father, John C. DelGiudice, drafted in order to help keep the area clean, as people were frequently dumping garbage on the route. Items that often cost a fee to dispose of, including old cars, boats, mattresses, washing machines, tires and gas tanks, for example, were dumped on the street.
But, since public access to the Rocky Point shoreline has been restored, DelGiudice said there is a need to reopen the road, as it will reunite the Warwick Neck neighborhood with Highland Beach and Meadowview residents. Further, it would allow much easier access for bicycles and pedestrian traffic to get from the Warwick Neck side to Rocky Point and also enable Highland Beach and Meadowview constituents access to the marinas, as well as the new Harbor Light Marina, which offers a nine-hole golf, as well as a pool that’s set to open in July.
“It’s a nice destination spot in Ward 5 that you can access by land or water,” DelGiudice said. “And the older kids who go to Warwick Neck School will be able to have a short cut. When I was a kid, we used to cut through the woods to get to Warwick Neck School.”
DelGiudice estimates the path will be eight to 10 feet wide, with mulch beds along each side. The cost of the project, he said, is roughly $23,000, but the city already identified $18,000 from fees in lieu of open space, a fund with revenue created through money developers pay to the city as a requirement for the development of properties. The money is used to make recreational improvements to the city, such as the Meadowview Avenue project.
“It’s not a big project because the road bed is still there and the drainage is already in place,” said DelGiudice. “It’s going to need maintenance and upkeep, but DPW will do it.”
DelGiudice said he is thrilled to have the support of Mayor Scott Avedisian, DPW Acting Director David Picozzi, as well as members of the planning department, Bill DePasquale and Dan Geagan.
“They have been very helpful in planning this whole thing,” said DelGiudice. “They all think it’s a great project and I’m looking forward to seeing it get done.”
As for the concealment cell phone towers, DelGiudice said installing 10 towers within Warwick would generate significant revenue over the course of 10 years.
In 2007, DelGiudice put forth legislation asking the city to identify city-owned properties where the towers could be installed. Among the possible locations are City Park in Ward 6; Clegg Field in Ward 4; the Warwick Fire Station at 771 Post Road in Ward 2 or Aldrich Junior High School, also located on Post Road in Ward 2; Gorton Junior High School or the Warwick Fire Station at 1501 West Shore Road in Ward 5; Sherman Elementary School, also in Ward 5; Wyman Elementary School in Ward 1; and Barton Farm in Ward 8.
At the moment, the city is working on drafting a request for proposal, also known as an RFP, in relation to the communication towers. It should be noted that the locations could change slightly, as the RFP is yet to be finalized.
“If I were coming up in a boat, I think a flag pole would look beautiful from the water,” DelGiudice said. “They are beautiful compared to what they used to have with the big communication tower behind the Warwick Police Department.”