Four oversized-load tractor-trailers delivered the new Harrisburg police substation to its site in South Allison Hill this morning, where the prefabricated units will be assembled ahead of the station’s anticipated opening in early 2019.
The modular units began arriving at the site at S. 15th and Drummond streets at 10:30 a.m. and were assembled by early afternoon. Once the units are fully affixed to the foundation, crews will outfit the interior with plumbing and electricity.
Construction should be completed on Feb. 11, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said.
The new substation, built on the site of a long-shuttered police precinct that was demolished this summer, will house the city’s community policing unit during the day, as well as uniformed patrol officers assigned to South Allison Hill through the evening and early morning, Papenfuse said.
“This area has always been a hotspot for crime,” Papenfuse said, adding that the location would bolster the city’s economic development projects in the nearby MulDer Square neighborhood.
The $20 million MulDer Square project aims to revitalize a section of South Allison Hill near the Mulberry Street Bridge by rehabbing dilapidated housing into affordable homes and apartments.
The city hopes that a stronger police presence in the neighborhood will encourage more investment and home ownership, Papenfuse said.
The South Allison Hill substation has been in the works since 2016, when the police bureau first said they would re-open a defunct precinct on S. 15th Street. Since then, they scrapped plans to renovate the existing, long-shuttered precinct building and also scaled back a proposal to staff the precinct 24 hours a day.
City Council allocated almost $1 million in the 2018 budget for the construction of a modular substation building, which offered lower costs and faster turnaround than on-site construction, city Engineer Wayne Martin said. The steel-and-brick modules were built in New Holland, Pa., and have a 99-year lifespan.
Harrisburg police closed roads in Harrisburg and limited parking along Derry Street this morning to accommodate the four tractor-trailers hauling the modules to the substation site, where a concrete foundation was already laid. Crews then used a crane to lift the modules into place atop the foundation.
The city hopes to acquire an adjacent parcel for an additional surface parking lot, Papenfuse said today. He expects to make that proposal to council in the new year, once design work is complete.