Crews are wrapping up work to reconstruct a section of Rte. 85 from the Southborough line to John Street. But more work could soon be on the horizon as the mayor is proposing a $4 million bond to revamp several other roads in the city.
MARLBOROUGH – The $4.6 million overhaul of a one-mile stretch of Rte. 85 from the Southborough line to John Street is nearing completion.
Construction crews this spring installed new traffic signals and the base layers of pavement. Work was done to reconfigure the troublesome intersection of Framingham Road and Rte. 85. The intersection was realigned to make it more of a 90-degree angle to reduce crashes. Police have responded to more than 30 crashes at the intersection during the past few years.
Crews are installing new sidewalks and driveway aprons, and will conduct miscellaneous utility work before final paving commences, said Tom DiPersio, city engineer.
The project – which features new road signs and landscaping, bike lanes and more visible crosswalks – is slated to be substantially completed in about six weeks, barring any significant weather delays, said DiPersio.
The project comes on the heels of two years of gas main replacement work done by Eversource Gas.
Marlborough leaders have called the project much-needed, one which will make pedestrians and vehicles much safer. They hope the upgrades will improve businesses on that stretch of Rte. 85 and attract more mixed-use developments and visitors downtown.
“It’s an important commuter corridor,” said DiPersio.
The Rte. 85 reconstruction is the second large state-run road construction work to occur near downtown in the past few years. The city received a $2.7 million MassWorks grant in the fall of 2015 to revamp a section of East Main Street from Main Street to Parmenter Square. That work was completed a few years ago.
More roadwork could soon be on the horizon.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant earlier this month submitted a $4 million bond request for street improvements across the city. Finance Committee members this week signed off on it, and the full City Council is expected to vote on the bond in coming weeks.
If the bond is approved, milling and overlay work will occur on Concord Road, lower Pleasant Street, Pleasant Street from Lincoln Street to Berlin Road and Beach Street. Vigeant told Finance Committee members this week that Beach Street is in particularly bad shape.
“I drove down there and it was horrendous,” he said.
Milling and overlay is the process of grinding off the top layer of existing asphalt pavement using a large milling machine and replacing the layer with a new surface.
Reconstruction and utility work on Fontaine Street, Kings View Road, Memory Lane and Forbes Avenue is part of the bond package, said Vigeant.
“We’ve been targeting $4 million a year to upgrade various streets,” said Finance Committee Chairman Michael Ossing.
The city selects which roads to revamp based on a street construction report updated by the Department of Public Works, said Vigeant.
Jeff Malachowski can be reached at 508-490-7466 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JmalachowskiMW.