FALL RIVER — It was a year ago next month that Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash announced from the parking lot of the newly opened SouthCoast Marketplace an award of $2.5 million to repair William S. Canning Boulevard — but the road work likely won’t start until spring.
The entire project, which will include drainage work, will cost $2.7 million with the city picking up the balance.
City Engineer JR Frey said a part of the project has been completed, with new signal controls installed at the entrance of the new plaza.
“The rest of the road project is currently in design, and I would say it’s about 20 to 25 percent complete. In terms of road layout, conceptually there isn’t a lot of change,” said Frey.
The road project will span from the current main entrance to SouthCoast Marketplace, constructed by the CEA Group, near Newton Street north to Tucker Street near Rhode Island Avenue and will include the reconstruction of William S. Canning Boulevard, reconfigured traffic signals, replacement of approximately 70 percent of the sidewalks and a component for flood relief and stormwater run-off.
A $200,000 appropriation for the stormwater work will come from the city’s sewer enterprise fund.
The project will also feature bike lane in addition to new road work and work to improve the intersection at Mariano Bishop Boulevard.
Getting the project off the ground was affected by the lag time between the announcement and when the state finally signed the contract with the city, which was in April.
Frey said while the city had surveyors and engineers lined up, not having the funding agreement with the state meant it couldn’t move ahead with hiring the companies.
When the agreement was signed, the companies had moved on to other projects over the summer.
“If we really push hard, we could do some things this fall,” said Frey.
However, since some of the work involves the on- and off-ramps to Route 24, the city will need design approval from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, delaying the project even further.
The city could start the bid process this winter and begin sometime in the spring if everything lines up, said Frey.
“Once we go, it’s going to go.”
Email Jo C. Goode at firstname.lastname@example.org.