Road repairs heat up before temperatures cool down

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Travelers of Greenville Avenue, Bishop Hill Road and Brown Avenue who may have recently lost fillings while riding along the notoriously bumpy roads should soon see some relief.

According to Mayor Joseph Polisena and Department of Public Works Director Arnold Vecchione, repairs and resurfacing of these roads is already taking place, and work should be completed before the construction season ends next month.

For more than two years, residents along Greenville Avenue – a state road – have dealt with the inconvenience of construction of the Citizens Bank campus and the associated sewer and water line extension projects that severely affected the road’s conditions. Following the completion of the campus construction late this past summer, Citizens Bank repaved the area from their campus to Salina Avenue. The lower portion of Greenville Avenue from Salina to George Waterman, however, is the responsibility of National Grid and Providence Water and is separate from the Citizens repaving project.

Work continued in that area following the completion of the campus, replacing gas lines and other infrastructure. It may be nearby residents in that area, however, that are now holding up road repairs.

“National Grid has said that they’re having problems with the lateral installation of lines to residents’ homes and that people are not responding to requests for those installations,” said Polisena.

Polisena said he’s had conversations with the Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr. and Bob Rocchio, Chief Engineer of Infrastructure at the DOT, and has applied pressure on the department to get the resurfacing completed.

According to emails received by the mayor from the DOT, National Grid’s delay in wrapping up of their installation work on Greenville Avenue is due to “unresponsive customers.”

“National Grid needs the customers [property owners] cooperation and consent to access their properties to complete the gas service installations. National Grid may have to send out gas termination letters to the unresponsive customers,” wrote Matt Ouellette of the DOT in an email chain sent to the mayor. “While the politicians and mayor are putting heat on us over the final road repair, some of their constituents are part of the reason for the delay.”

According to contractor workers on scene on Greenville Avenue, there are approximately 15 remaining homes on Greenville Avenue that need to have new gas laterals installed. That work is hoped to be completed within the next few weeks

Unlike major sewer lines in the area that needed time to settle before the road covering them could be repaved, the techniques used to compact the soil during lateral installations allow for immediate repaving.

Lateral work is hoped to be completed within the next few weeks, and work repaving of Greenville Avenue should begin by mid-November. Polisena said he has been assured that the road will not be left unpaved over the winter.

“If the residents of Greenville Avenue are ignoring the correspondence from National Grid, then they are the ones that are dragging it out,” said Polisena.

Hartford Paving will be doing the paving work on Greenville Avenue, which will be curb to curb.

Work on Bishop Hill Road began yesterday with the start of the removal of the surface of the road, which should take about two days. Once that work is complete, resurfacing of Bishop Hill from Central Avenue to Hartford Avenue will commence. According to Vecchione, resurfacing work will continue throughout the weekend and, weather permitting, is expected to be completed by Monday.

Once Bishop Hill is complete, work on Brown Avenue will then commence. Last year, the DPW repaved a section of Brown, and this year’s work will pick up from that spot and continue to the entrance of Dame Farm. That work is expected to be completed before December. The remainder of Brown Avenue will then be repaved next year.

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