NBC provides updates on ‘Big Digs’

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Johnston’s “Big Dig” sewer and water extension projects on Greenville Avenue and Hartford Avenue are tentatively slated to be completed by the end of the year, according to the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC).

After announcing earlier this month that the Greenville Avenue project suffered setbacks because of the amount of ledge discovered under the current section under construction, along with residential gas hookups that were nearby to the construction area that prevented blasting, work appears to be moving on schedule.

According to Jamie Samons, Public Affairs manager with NBC, work on both projects is expected to be finished in December, barring any unforeseen circumstances such as a blizzard or weather event, though an exact completion date is not yet known.

Greenville Avenue still remains partially closed to traffic, with the same detours having been in place for the last month or so. The trench on Greenville Avenue, currently encompassing the deepest part of the construction project, is not being backfilled daily but covered with metal plating to speed up work.

Samons stated that she has heard complaints from residents about the delay and traffic patterns, but that the actions taken are designed to improve safety.

“We’ve heard it, too. All of that stuff is really driven by safety. We trust the judgment of the police on what is safe to do and what is not safe to do,” said Samons of the Greenville Avenue project. “I’ve heard some complaints from neighbors as well and I understand that it is incredibly inconvenient for them, but this is construction.”

Currently, just over 9,000 linear feet of 16-inch water pipe has been laid under Greenville Avenue, and there is just under 1,000 feet of sewer lines left to install. Di Gregorio currently has three work crews working on the project. Once completed, a temporary paving will be installed for the winter, and the roadway will be permanently paved in the spring.

On Hartford Avenue, 4,046 linear feet of 12-inch PVC gravity sewer lines have been installed of the projected 5,400 linear feet of piping needed. D’Ambra, the contactor, also won the Department of Transportation bid for paving in the spring, which NBC believes will provide for a smooth coordination between sewer installation and final paving.

“As always, we really appreciate everyone’s patience with this, it’s been a complicated job but we’re still confident that, when it’s complete, it will really be a benefit for the area and we’re anxious to have it done,” said Samons.

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