By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Crews will begin work in the town center on Monday, March 27 as part of an infrastructure project to upgrade the French Square water, sewer, gas and electric.
The first utility involved will be National Grid, which will replace aged gas mains during the next four months. All gas lines and mains will be installed before service is switched over.
All of this is part of an estimated $3 million project. The Town is applying to the state for a grant that should cover much of the work. Town officials met twice in the past week with business owners to discuss the impact on the area.
“National Grid has been given a permit for March 27 and they will work into July and August,” said DPW head Steve Calla. “The bigger impact will be the water a sewer work.”
When crews begin work next week they will be making numerous test boring holes and doing test digs for four weeks.
Water and sewer work will follow and plans are to keep traffic flowing during the construction. Streets impacted will be Woodside, Bartlett, Adams, Williams, Jefferson, Somerset, Cottage, Hagman and Pleasant, just to name a few.
There may be some rerouting of traffic during the project.
The project includes burying the electrical services and bringing back the fountain to the center of the square. As part of the project utility poles will be removed and services will go underground. The electrical work is expected to go slower than the rest of the project.
“There will be some inconvenience, some noise and things that go along with construction,” Callla said. “It’s work that needs to be done and hasn’t been in the last 30 years.”
During construction crews will use a portion of the parking lot at the old middle school on Pauline Street for a staging area. All equipment will go there at the end of the day.
“The most important part is patience because the end product will be worth it,” said Town Manager James McKenna.
Town Councilor Russ Sanford said that in the end, the center will be an exciting place to be.
In addition to utility work there will also be work done on sidewalks and curbs.