ORLEANS — There was a grand opening on Main Street Monday, ill-attended save for construction crews and police officers.
Shortly after 7 a.m. March 12, Revoli Construction opened the pavement of Main Street in front of Snow Library's parking lot to begin construction of the downtown sewer system. Giant earth-moving equipment clanked into position as pavement was ground down to dirt.
Selectman Alan McClennen, who's been waiting for this moment for decades, was an unofficial sidewalk superintendent along with town consultant Tom Parece of AECOM.
In nearly sub-freezing air, the big machines labored in the street while workers removed portions of adjacent brick sidewalks by hand, carefully stacking the bricks nearby.
Tuesday's work at the site was rescheduled for Wednesday in anticipation of the nor'easter due to strike very early March 13.
Downtown businesses remained open as construction began, with customers adjusting to traffic patterns altered to accommodate work between the library and Route 28. Although the library itself remained open, its parking lot was closed; that is scheduled to happen again around March 19 for a day.
Meanwhile, a second crew was working on Main Street adjacent to Cummings Road before moving toward Route 6A.
From March 16 to 30, work will be done on 6A in both directions from Main Street. After April 2, crews will be working in the Route 28/Academy Place area and along Main Street to and including the end of Old Colony.
“Hopefully, sewer main installation will be complete on or around April 26,” DPW/Natural Resources Director Tom Daley wrote in a recent email. That's tentative, of course, and depends on the weather and other circumstances.
Daley promised that access to downtown businesses will be maintained, although Main Street sewer work may require temporary lane reductions and closures. “We encourage residents to please support our local businesses and continue to frequent these establishments during the construction,” he wrote.
Project updates on the location of construction and possible detours are posted on the police department Facebook page (Facebook.com/orleanspolice). Anyone with a question or concern can call Daley at 508-240-3700, ext. 363 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.