By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
For the Transcript
Landside improvements to the Winthrop public landing on Shirley Street, which began last Tuesday, August 25, will cause a temporary interruption of normal usage there for two days, beginning next Tuesday, September 8, said Winthrop Harbormaster Chucky Famolare.
“The contractor will be reclaiming the pavement from the parking lot at the landing, to be used on site in the establishment of the new parking lot foundation, and for that, they will need access to the entire site for two days,” said Famolare. “Therefore, we are asking all people who use the landing to park vehicles to make sure that they remove all vehicles from the lot by 11 p.m. on Monday night [September 7].”
Famolare added any vehicles that aren’t removed in time will be towed by the town, in order to clear the site and ensure the contractors can start work on time on Tuesday morning.
“This whole landside project is going to take several months, and in fact, some of the finish work may not be completed until next spring,” said Famolare. “However, the inconvenience of the parking ban will only last two days. After that, we’re simply going to ask people using the landing to be understanding, as we try to work around the construction and the contractors try to work around the normal landing operations and uses.”
The overall landing project, which includes all landside improvements including new water and sewer service to the landing, power, lighting, landscaping, walkways and the parking lot, doesn’t include the proposed harbor terminal operations building. The cost is $1.2 million, and the contractor for the project is Argus Construction of Bedford.
“Essentially, what they’ll be doing during the two days is taking up the existing pavement, down 12 inches, and grinding it up so that it can be used as the new foundation once all the pipes and utility lines are laid out,” explained Famolare. “We hope to have the lot reopened to normal business by Thursday [September 10], if everything goes well.”
Famolare noted that the town is still working on identifying a contractor for the terminal building, after the original bid process ended with all the bids coming in over the $700,000 budget.
All of the construction and landside improvements at the landing is being completed with state and federal grants, which were awarded last year to the town. No town funds are being used.
“The contract calls for [Argus] to install the benches and picnic tables when the other site work is completed, probably sometime in late November,” said Famolare. “But after talking with Peter Salem, the owner of Argus, they have agreed to wait and install those types of finish amenities in the spring, after we’ve been able to identify a contractor for the building and get the building’s foundations laid. It will also keep us from having tables and benches not being used in the winter, and still being exposed to the winter weather.”