At a City Plan Commission meeting Tuesday night, representatives from Yale University and the City of New Haven approved a license agreement that would allow the construction of University-operated chiller lines — pipes that carry chilled water or steam — from the University chilled water plant in Science Park to the main Yale supply lines on Sachem Street.
In November 2008, the Board of Aldermen approved a mutual license agreement allowing Yale to construct chiller lines on Canal Street. But according according to an advisory report from the New Haven City Plan Commission, “the number, age and location of the existing utilities in the Canal Street public right of way” made construction difficult.
The new route, which would run parallel to Canal Street under the Farmington Canal line Greenway, is “the most practical route,” said Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93, the vice president of Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs.
Yale has established a $100,000 maintenance trust fund to compensate for disrupting or damaging city utilities — such as its telecommunications network — during construction of the chiller lines. Yale has also agreed to “establish a temporary route … along Canal Street while the chiller lines are being installed,” said the report.
Morand said he hoped the projected nine-month construction project could begin by this winter so as to minimize disruption to the city.
“We are hoping for expeditious passage so that we can begin the work during the wintertime,” he said.
Ward 9 Alderman Roland Lemar expressed concern over the duration of the construction.
“Thirty-six weeks is a substantial period of time,” he said.
Morand answered back by saying that construction would be completed “as quickly as possible,” he said. Plus, he said, Yale will invest in landscaping restoration once the project is completed.
Representatives of the Office of New Haven and State Affairs will present detailed site plans at the next City Plan Commission meeting on Nov. 18.