Stonington closes Town Dock playscape

The town has closed the playscape, seen Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, at the Town Dock, with barricades and caution tape. (Joe Wojtas/The Day)
The town has closed the playscape, seen Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, at the Town Dock, with barricades and caution tape. (Joe Wojtas/The Day)

Stonington — The town has closed the playscape at the Town Dock playground because some of its wooden support footings are rotting. 

While the playscape is now wrapped in yellow caution tape and blocked by barricades, the playground itself remains open.

A notice on the town’s website states the playground is temporarily closed while the town examines the vertical footings, some of which have begun to rot where they meet the ground.

“It will remain off limits as we perform additional inspections and necessary repairs,” states the notice, thanking residents for their “patience as we work through future inspections and plan out subsequent repairs.”

First Selectman Rob Simmons said Tuesday the town became aware of the problem after a parent, whose child was digging in the wood chips around it spotted the rotting pole, reported it. Simmons said he, Public Works Director Barbara McKrell, Town Engineer Scot Deledda and Recreation Commission Chairman Mike Crowley then went down to the playground to inspect the footings.

Simmons said they then closed the 16-year playscape to prevent someone from getting injured.

While Simmons said the playscape could be lifted out of the ground, disassembled and the posts replaced, he said there are now discussions about replacing the entire structure due to its age. Crowley could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Stonington Village Improvement Association funded the playscape.

The town would have to appropriate money to repair the current playscape or buy a new one. It also could seek a donation from an outside group.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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