West Chatham Roadwork To End Friday

By: Tim Wood

Crews working on the north side of Route 28 in the West Chatham corridor last week. The work was scheduled to end Friday and will resume again in September. TIM WOOD PHOTO

CHATHAM – There's good news for folks who frequently drive along Route 28 through the West Chatham business district. The West Chatham Roadway Project is about to end for the summer.

Work on revamping Route 28 (Main Street) between Barn Hill Road and George Ryder Road road is scheduled to end Friday, June 28, according to Public Works Director Tom Temple.

“They're actually ahead of schedule at this point,” he said Monday.

The $4 million-plus project involves eliminating the center turning lane along the 1,700-foot corridor and constructing small roundabouts at Barn Hill Road and George Ryder Road. In development for a decade, work began last fall and is officially slated to be completed in 2021, but will likely be done sooner.

Work will resume after Labor Day and is expected to continue as long as allowed by weather until starting up again in the spring. If everything goes smoothly, all except the landscaping and final touches could be completed by next summer.

Temple said contractor Lawrence Lynch will be installing a temporary sidewalk along the north side of the road and placing a “skim coat” of pavement over sections of the roadway that were disturbed.

“This is only temporary until they come back in September, then they'll be digging everything back up,” he said.

Much of the work done this fall has involved installing drainage structures and underground conduits for utilities. New utility poles have been installed but the wires have yet to transferred. Temple said Eversource could conceivably do that work this summer, but the utility has several projects ahead of this one, so the timing is uncertain.

Crews are expected to begin working on the roundabouts in the fall, he said.

Temple said he expects to receive a new completion schedule from the contractor shortly. The roundabout work in the fall will be more complicated than the work done this spring. Most of the work was confined to the north side of the roadway, and two lanes of traffic were open most of the time. “They did a good job trying to keep things moving,” he said. That's likely to get more complicated when the roundabout work begins.