Massachusetts Street is expected to be fully open to motorists and for parking by later this afternoon as construction crews finish a downtown waterline replace project more than a month ahead schedule.
Philip Ciesielski, assistant utilities director for the city, said today that crews are installing the final patches of asphalt on the project that stretches from Ninth Street to 11th Street. He said that means the road should be fully open - barring a rainstorm - by this evening. The road has been limited to one-lane traffic and parking on only side of the street since late May.
"We're feeling really good about how it is all working out," Ciesielski said. "We'll feel a lot better, though, at the end of the day when we see the first cars heading south on Mass."
The project originally was supposed to last through early September, but Ciesielski said work has been progressing at a fast rate. He said part of that was due to the familiarity the construction crews had with the project. This is the third summer that crews with Nowak Construction have been replacing century-old waterlines in the downtown areas.
"They had a really good idea of what to expect and what type of hurdles come up with a project like this," Ciesielski said. "They were really efficient based on their past experience."
The Goddard-based construction company will receive a $1,000 per day incentive for every day the project is completed ahead of schedule. Ciesielski said that payment probably will end up being in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. It will be calculated after all the small details on the project are completed, which is expected to be by the end of next week.