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Roadways project readies for construction phase

Date: 3/22/2013

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD — Planning for the Old Town Roadways Reconstruction Project is almost complete, but a tentative start date has not been determined.

Mayor Daniel Knapik said, "The project engineering is ongoing and I haven't set a date for bidding."

The project will move overhead utility lines underground, "enhancing the streetscape and appeal of the neighborhood," City Engineer Mark Cressotti said, adding that "minor easements" would be needed to enable the burying of the lines while still allowing room for trees.

"We're pretty much ready to go," Cressotti said. "It's been a productive and promising process developing the project. It's not been done before."

Peter Miller, director of Community Development, said, "The goal of the project is to deliver a cleaner streetscape with views. The neighborhood is in for a significant change with the building of the new school [Ashley Street School Project]."

He added, "We're trying to set the neighborhood up for continued success. The project serves a dual purpose: to make the entry ways to the school beautiful and functional."

The plans were initially unveiled at an informational meeting conducted on Jan. 30.

According to the Engineering Department, Ashley Street, Cross Street, East Silver Street, Frederick Street, George Street, Lindbergh Boulevard, Noble Street, Parkside Avenue, State Street and Taylor Avenue will all be affected by the reconstruction.

"We're looking to complete the Old Town project in 2013 and have it precede similar efforts for other streets, which we are currently designing," Cressotti said.