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Norwich — Chelsea Parade North soon will be no more as a quick shortcut turnaround between Washington Street and Broadway.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to close the estimated 60-to-80-foot long street permanently to connect the northern tip of Chelsea Parade, where several war memorials are located, to the main green.
Robert Murphy, a representative of the Norwich Area Veterans' Council, which represents 14 different veterans' groups in the region, said the group strongly supports the closure of the road. In the future, he told the City Council, the group would look to rename the northern tip "Veterans' Memorial Park."
The veterans' council is working on plans now to commission a "Post 9-11" memorial stone on the northern tip, and he said without the road closure, that would be the last memorial stone that would fit in the area.
Police Chief Louis Fusaro and Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato both said there would be no safety issues involved in closing the road. Fusaro said closing the road could improve safety as many drivers use the shortcut to avoid nearby traffic lights.
Fusaro recommended that the city keep the sidewalk across the green once the road is closed to allow handicapped access to the memorial park for ceremonies.