The town administrator told selectmen last week that now, two months into the drainage project, it has gotten worse — as projected.
By worse he was referring to the size of the area under construction and the disruptions.
Drainage and water line installation is moving along Atlantic Avenue with the goal of reaching 5Corners restaurant by the beginning of September when school starts, said Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren.
Starting today, Tuesday, Aug. 20, there will be changes to the traffic pattern around the drainage construction.
Here are the changes as presented on the town website:
Washington Street will be closed from the Bistro restaurant back to Hawkes Street. This will occur for approximately 2 - 4 days (it is becoming less predictable because the contractor is starting to run into ledge by the House of Pizza) and will result in the revised traffic pattern.
The drawing is attached to this article or it can be found by visiting the town website.
The website also states the following:
"The traffic pattern for the rest of the week will have Atlantic Avenue vehicles flowing from Hawkes to Shube's and on to 5 corners (one way only). The traffic will then continue through to Essex and on to Pleasant Street. Any traffic wanting to return to Atlantic Avenue shops will need to go down Pleasant (past Warwick Place) to the beginning of Washington Street (across from the 3 Cod) and use Hawkes St. to connect back to Atlantic Avenue. It is anticipated that the Atlantic Avenue traffic pattern will remain in this formation for the foreseeable future and by next week we anticipate that the work will move into the area between Tony's Pizza and Chets Video and begin blocking off Essex Street. This will cause another series of routings that will be communicated as soon as possible."
The administrator also told selectmen last week that the town has been talking to the contractors about keeping the sidewalks and construction area tidy.
They have also talked to contractors about alternative places to store rock and pipe.
This is the first of a three-year drainage construction project, though the last year will be much smaller in scope than the first two, the town administrator said.