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Main Street reconstruction begins again this week

May 05, 2010
LITTLETON—Touchup work on Main Street reconstruction begins this week and should be wrapped up no later than July 1.

Town Manager Chuck Connell said Monday that workers from Northeast Earth Mechanics were ready to begin work this week, possibly as early as Tuesday. Much of the work will be prep work before the final paving of Main Street, which should be done around Memorial Day.

John Seely, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation on site manager said the paving itself will be done at night and should only take one long night to complete. The timing depends on the temperatures at night and whether the asphalt plants are up and running, he said. The nearest plants are in Gorham and Waterford, Vt.

Connell said that a "punch list" of problems people have noticed was given to the contractors by the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) and they will begin addressing those issues. Some of the most noticeable issues people have noted have been the heaving sidewalks, which have since settled. Connell said the contractors have assured him that the problem with the sidewalks was moisture under them. When gravel was put down before sidewalks were laid it was still wet. As the ground froze the moisture caused the sidewalks to heave, Connell said. Sealing them should take care of the problem, he said.

A sidewalk still has to be put in front of Golden Bamboo Chinese Restaurant and the Salomon block, Connell said.

There should also be a net gain of one parking spot on Main Street, Connell said. After Main Street reconstruction was finished four parking meters ended up being bagged because the spots were too close to fire hydrants, which many said were improperly placed. After re-measuring it turned out that three of them were fine, though the space in front of the Information Booth remains too close to a hydrant. That spot might end up being a parking spot for motorcycles, Connell said. Two other spots, including a compact car spot in front of the library, have been reclaimed.

Other issues are leaning light poles, rusting metal plates at crosswalks, sign placement and how to incorporate beautification into the project. Also noted by LACC is that the handicapped crossing signal is not loud enough and should be moved because of the Opera House.

Jack Eames of Eames Realty also presented a letter to the town on April 9 about putting a PVC liner in the old 1930s sewer line, which backed up last year flooding the basements in the 30 block, between Pleasant Street and the former Deacon's Bench Furniture building. The letter was presented to the contractors. He recounted a conversation he had with Sean McDonald of Northeast Earth Mechanics who said the old sewer line had only been cleaned out, not repaired, and that there could still be problems and that it could fail.

Eames also said that broken tiles at the entrance to the Jax Jr. Cinemas had to be replaced. He said he also had concerns with vaults under the sidewalks in front of the Salomon Block and how those would be addressed.

Seely said some of the other work that has to be done is raising all the structures in the road like manhole covers and storm drain grates by an inch and a half. They will be blocked off with cones to discourage people from hitting them. After that the final coat of asphalt will be laid down and crosswalks put in.

Connell said Northeast Earth Mechanics is hoping to be done by June 15 but will be done by July 1 at the latest.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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