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While a date has not been set for the opening of Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in Brentwood, city officials still expect a late summer opening as work continues to progress.

According to city engineer Mike Harris, the project is approximately six weeks behind schedule, and the city will be hiring additional crews to speed up completion.

Although some of that delay has been due to weather conditions, Harris said it has taken longer than expected to gain approval from CSX for a right-of-way access to cross the railroad lines for utilities.

“Approval was gained for the main waterline which crosses under the railroad and the waterline is now in place. However, we are still working with CSX to gain approval for the sewer line crossing. We anticipate approval from CSX any day,” Harris said.

Construction crews are currently focusing on the area surrounding Ravenswood Mansion, installing utilities, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, drainage and parking areas.

As of now, Ravenswood Mansion has no connected utilities and only temporary electricity. Still, community relations director Linda Lynch is confident the mansion will be ready for events by September.

“Reservations are coming in pretty good considering they haven’t finished the park yet,” Lynch said.

The historic mansion is also still in need of select furnishing that fit the 1820s motif. Lynch listed antique or oriental rugs as the top item needed.

To access the mansion, crews are in the process of completing the entrance road bridge over the CSX railroad. The travel surface is now in place, allowing attention to be turned to the stonework and bridge entrance features. Installation of the stainless steel bridge fencing, which will protect pedestrians crossing the bridge, is slated to begin June 9.

Irrigation work, conduits for the electric entrance gates and street lighting are all underway. Harris also confirmed the traffic signal at the main entrance is in place and ready to be activated.

Further back in the park, Brentwood Parks and Recreation staff continues to clear hiking trails.

“While the trails will remain natural, unpaved rustic type trails, there was a lot of work involved in clearing vegetation and marking the trails. Color coded maps of the trail system are being prepared and will be available at the trailhead and on the city’s website when the park opens,” Harris said.

A pre-fabricated restroom building is scheduled to be delivered in early June, and will be placed at the park’s trailhead. Utilities are already in place to serve the facility.

Staff writer Jonathan Romeo covers the city of Brentwood. Contact him at jonathan@brentwoodhomepage.com.

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