Ease of entering and exiting our grounds is just the beginning . . .
Once upon a time, the main entrance into the memorial park from Compton Road was more than adequate. However, according to Dan Applegate, Arlington’s president and CEO, “Whenever that was, it is a time that has long since passed.” Now, says Applegate, the old ingress/egress is an impediment to the traffic flow, both to incoming traffic but also to those cars exiting particularly following a funeral or committal service when a left turn out of the exit lane might mean waiting for several minutes.
However, while traffic flow may be the main instigator, there are other reasons that play into the decision to undertake such a project. “Drainage and signage,” says Applegate are two other reasons but a third is the deterioration of the statuary. Finally, Applegate claims that the main entrance needs to provide space for deliveries of products such as large shipments of granite that comes on long flatbed trucks. “Our roads are too narrow and curvy to allow trucks into the park. That means we need additional space somewhere near the entrance where we can take deliveries.” Applegate says he hopes that most of the road work can be completed before cold weather returns. “Right now,” he says, “materials and a high demand for projects are causing long construction delays. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a good start this year.”
Landscape architect Craig Brown of HWH Architects, Engineers & Planners of Cleveland has redesigned the entire front area of the park. While the entrance and the approach to the gardens are the primary focus at this point, he has developed a comprehensive plan (see photo) that is under active consideration. According to Applegate, some, all or none of those design elements may, in the end, be in Arlington’s future. “If we could make Brown’s plan a reality, it would completely transform the entire front section of the park.”