METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Work to overhaul a portion of East Main Street recently got underway and is slated to be finished by November.
Marlborough received a $2.7 million MassWorks grant in fall 2015 to reconstruct a section of East Main Street from Main Street to Parmenter Road. The work includes repaving, replacing water lines, building a new retaining wall and installing new sidewalks and bike lanes. A walkway to Spring Hill Cemetery will also be constructed.
Construction crews recently installed a temporary water main that was attached to homes and businesses. Work to install the permanent water main is expected to begin soon, said Tom DiPersio, city engineer.
Crews will then fix sewers and replace the crumbling retaining wall that has forced the closing of a section of sidewalk on the street. Workers will repave the road and install the new sidewalks and bike lanes, said DiPersio.
Traffic will be disrupted during construction. DiPersio and city officials will devise a traffic plan depending on what work is being done each week. Residents will be informed of detours, he said.
“Traffic is a major issue,” said DiPersio. “It’s a very busy stretch of East Main Street. We’re trying our best to maintain one lane through the work site. That’s the challenging part of the project.”
The total cost is $3.2 million. The city is using $600,000 in Chapter 90 state roadway money to offset the cost of the work.
DiPersio and other city officials called the East Main Street facelift much-needed and hope it will improve businesses in that area and attract more mixed-use developments and residents to the city center.
“It’s seen as an important entryway to the downtown area,” said DiPersio. “It’s going to really beautify that section of East Main Street.”
City officials in late 2014 approved a new downtown zoning district that encourages mixed-use projects with retail space on lower floors and housing on upper floors. The zoning change eases requirements on parking and building dimensions for developers, who in turn have to comply with more stringent design standards.
The grant for the East Main Street work was awarded through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is intended to be a “one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation,” according to the state’s website.
The city also received a $1.6 million MassWorks grant in fall 2013 to overhaul Simarano Drive. That project included repaving the road, widening a section of the road and adding sidewalks and bike lanes. The improvements were completed in late 2015.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.