NEW: Worcester Officials Cut Ribbon to Reopen Front Street
Monday, December 31, 2012
"It's a great day for the City of Worcester," Petty said, applauding the hard work by Murray and Worcester's state delegation as well as the public-private partnerships that went into making the street's reopening a reality.
The thoroughfare connecting the east and west sides of Worcester through the downtown area was closed 45 years ago as part of an earlier economic development project, but well-intentioned as it was, it effectively split the city in half.
"Today we knit back together Worcester's downtown," Murray said. "Here, once again, east meets west in the center and the heart of the Commonwealth."
A plan to reopen Front Street was originally proposed 13 years ago, and ground was broken on the current project two years ago. Thanks to private-sector investment, Monday's reopening of the street signifies the first step toward the completion of CitySquare.
"The symbolism is powerful," said O'Brien, noting that the reopening of Front Street represents the positive, can-do attitude of Worcester.
The ribbon-cutting was followed by a ceremonial procession of police and the City's World War II veterans.
"Today is a great milestone for the City," said Fred Eppinger, president and CEO of the Hanover Insurance Group, which has contributed to the ongoing development project.
While the Hanover is known for its charitable giving, Eppinger said "This wasn't about charity. This was an investment."
The new Front Street is the latest example of that investment paying off, and all in attendance said they look toward the future of Worcester and the continued growth of the Commonwealth's second-largest city, now bolstered by the reopened connector.
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