Segment 6 work nears completion

The new sidewalks have gone in through much of Central Street and trees have been planted.

As the summer nears its end and fall comes rushing in, the much-awaited Segment 6 construction end date appears on the horizon. Much of the work around town is now completed or nearing completion said Segment 6 information director Bernie Carr, who added that the project is still on schedule to finish on time.

“The fountains are being installed this week and cleanup on the north side is almost done,” Carr said. “The final paving work was completed last week on the north side up to Otterside Animal Clinic.”

Finish work is ongoing through much of the downtown area on Central Street. Sidewalks have been laid in many places and some trees now adorn the sidewalks there.

“The sidewalks and retaining wall will be going in soon in front of Brandon House of Pizza,” Carr said. “Lots of people have been wondering about that because everyone has had to climb that little hill.”

The workers also will soon begin installing the crosswalks along Route 7. Those crosswalks will be imprinted asphalt, which should hold up to time and weather better than striping would.

“They cut out a portion of the asphalt and replace it with dyed asphalt instead of white lines,” Carr said. “Those white lines disappear over time and this will make the white of the crosswalk be more visible and provide some texture when you drive over them.”

While preparing the street for the box-cut and then paving, the base of Seminary Hill was found to have degraded cement and rebar. A hole was found through the concrete to the river. Those repairs were not part of the original Segment 6 project, so monies and engineering had to be arranged by the town.

The engineering has been completed and the selectboard authorized the funds for the repair. The town will match 20 percent of the costs and the rest of the $620,500 total cost of the project will come from federal highway funds.

“Work should start on that in the early fall,” Carr said. “The foot of Seminary Hill will then be more easily accessible to all traffic.”

In another unexpected setback, the retaining wall at the top of Briggs Lane was compromised during some of the Segment 6 work. The new wall needed to be engineered and the base courses of wall have been installed. The upper courses have been fabricated and will be installed soon along with the cap. The sidewalk next to it should follow shortly thereafter, Carr said.

Most of the heavy construction that is still underway is taking place on Franklin Street. Carr said that heavy equipment work will continue in the area and will be the site of potential traffic delays throughout the early fall as the sewer, water and storm drainage work continues. Final paving is expected to begin on Franklin Street near the end of fall and finish before winter weather arrives.

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