Griswold Street to get much-needed re-paving

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Mon., May. 30, 2011
Town Engineer Dan Pennington shows a map that outlines the plans for the milling and re-paving of most of Griswold Street at the public information hearing on May 25. Photos by Steve Smith.
Town Engineer Dan Pennington shows a map that outlines the plans for the milling and re-paving of most of Griswold Street at the public information hearing on May 25. Photos by Steve Smith.

Griswold Street will get some much-needed re-paving sooner than expected, and local residents seem rather pleased.

The Town Council approved a motion at a public information hearing on May 24 to capitalize on a federal grant that would fund 80 percent of the milling and re-paving of Griswold Street, from Main Street to Candlewood Road.

Town Manager Richard said the monies were approved for Glastonbury, effective in 2012, but other projects eligible for the grant in 2011 were not ready to move forward, so the town can use the funds to begin work this year.

Johnson said planning and specification details will move forward, and the project is expected to begin late this summer.

Town Engineer Dan Pennington said the grant is from the Federal STP Urban Grant Program, which uses federal transportation dollars to fund local transportation projects.

Pennington said plans for construction are by-design not quite complete, pending the input of town officials and residents, which is also part of the grant process.

“We do that on purpose,” Pennington said. “We want to reach a level of design such that we can accurately portray the scope of the project we're presenting, but at the same time, we don't want to be at a final design stage, and receive feedback from the council, and from the public, saying that we're on the wrong track.”

Pennington said the project will take between six and eight weeks, and recommends doing it in three phases, so that traffic will only be limited to one lane in one part of the street at a given time.

Councilman Chip Beckett asked if enough equipment could be used so that the milling could be done in a short amount of time, per phase.

“Could we at least get that part done quickly, and tell everybody, ‘Aug. 13 [for example], we’re going to be milling in front of your house?’” Beckett asked.

Pennington said that the milling time-frames should be able to be “nailed-down” with the contractors, and residents notified.

Pennington added that a realistic time frame would see most of the construction being done in September.

The section of Griswold near the House Street intersection will not be re-paved, as the plans are in the works to realign that intersection.

“We're not proposing that we rehabilitate the pavement through that intersection,” Pennington said, “only to potentially rip it up in a couple of years.”

Construction hours are scheduled to be 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., however Pennington said he recommends moving that up one hour, starting at 6 a.m., in order to avoid the afternoon rush hour and the afternoon release of Naubuc School.

“The worst time for congestion on this roadway is in the p.m. peak hour in the eastbound direction,” he said, adding that sometimes, traffic backs up from the House Street intersection to near Main Street.

Councilwoman Michele Jacklin expressed concern for local residents who may not be early-risers. “If I was a resident living in that area, and I was awakened at 6 o'clock in the morning by the sounds of construction, I would be quite upset,” she said.

But, residents seemed willing to bear the noise in the early morning, if it means the project will get completed.

“As far as the 6 a.m., for the length of time it's going to be, I don't think it's going to bother anyone,” said Eileen Kelly, a 50-year resident of Griswold Street. “We're used to getting up at 8, but 6 a.m. is fine to get the job done.”

“I concur with the 6 o'clock,” said resident Kathy Fisher, adding that some of her neighbors were not yet aware of the plan.

“I would much rather have a little bit of loud noise at 6 in the morning than have it take 30 minutes to get up Griswold Street to somewhere that I'm going in the afternoon,” said Councilman Bob Zanlungo, also a Griswold Street resident.

Overall, there was much support for the project, which some said was overdue.

“As anyone who has seen the street lately [would say], it's timely,” said resident Thomas Hinchey. “Any inconvenience to get the work done, as far as I'm concerned, is worth it.”

“I'm very excited about this happening,” said Fisher. “I've been here 13 years and I've been waiting, so I'm pleased about it.”

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