While it will mean some temporary inconvenience, Mayor Joseph Polisena is happy the state Department of Transportation is moving ahead with the repaving of large sections of Hartford Avenue.
He said Monday the work has been long needed and a smooth road will serve as a welcome mat to the development of 168 acres and the town’s “next building boom.” But he also has concerns that a smooth Hartford Avenue could also become a speedway.
He pointed out after the recent repaving of Winsor Avenue there was a truck accident involving speed and that police have stepped up patrols to get motorists to slow down. He imagines motorists might react to a smooth Hartford Avenue the same way, with a heavier foot on the gas.
“It’s not about giving tickets,” Polisena said, “It’s about safety.”
According to DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin, the $3.3 million repaving project is expected to be completed in October. Weather is the variable factor. Milling of the road surface started on Monday.
Polisena said there would be extra police patrols to help maintain a flow of traffic through the work areas and ensure the safety of workers and motorists. The mayor further noted that the project was delayed so that the extension of sewers could be completed first.
The work is part of $80 million worth of paving projects RIDOT is undertaking this construction season. The three Hartford Avenue projects taking place this fall will be followed by a fourth contract to repave another segment of the road in Scituate next year. Together, all four segments will address more than eight miles of roadway. Work on the paving will take place during both daytime and evening hours. Generally, work on portions of these roads that pass through residential areas will be done in the daytime. Those along busy commercial corridors or where traffic is heavy, especially west of I-295, will be done during the nighttime. Work on each segment will start with a period of pavement milling, during which motorists should expect a rough driving surface and raised structures such as utility covers and drainage grates. Travel delays are possible according to the DOT.
The schedule this fall includes:
Hartford Avenue (Route 6A) from Killingly Street to Atwood Avenue (Route 5):
Begins the week of September 17 and continues until late October. This project also included the installation of Americans with Disabilities Act-complaint wheelchair ramps at various locations throughout the 1.7-mile construction zone.
Hartford Avenue (Route 6) from I-295 to Danielson Pike:
Begins the week of September 17 and continues until early October. This project included limited sidewalk replacement along its 1.5-mile length, and the reconstruction of the intersection of Hartford Avenue and Reservoir Avenue in Johnston.
Hartford Pike (Route 6) from Danielson Pike to Route 101:
Begins late September/early October and continues until late October. This segment is 1.8 miles long in Scituate. This winter, RIDOT expects to select a contractor for a 3-mile segment of Route 6 in Scituate. This will pick up at the western end of work happening this fall, at Route 101, and continue to Route 102, near the Foster line.
These paving projects are made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs.