Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
53°
Cloudy
Hi 54° | Lo 48°

Long-awaited South Street traffic project set to begin Tuesday in Northampton

  • South Street in Northampton<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    South Street in Northampton
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Water mane construction on North Street in Northampton.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Water mane construction on North Street in Northampton.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Leonard and Front Street in Leeds.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Leonard and Front Street in Leeds.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Northampton Department of Public Works leads a Gazette reporter on a tour of the Locust St. facility including this boiler room which serves to heat only the offices housed on the west side of the main garage. The rest of the poorly insulated garage is heated with used motor oil. Officials were advised against insulating the ceilings for fear that snow would no longer melt off the roof causing a collapse.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Northampton Department of Public Works leads a Gazette reporter on a tour of the Locust St. facility including this boiler room which serves to heat only the offices housed on the west side of the main garage. The rest of the poorly insulated garage is heated with used motor oil. Officials were advised against insulating the ceilings for fear that snow would no longer melt off the roof causing a collapse. Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Street in Northampton<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Water mane construction on North Street in Northampton.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Leonard and Front Street in Leeds.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Northampton Department of Public Works leads a Gazette reporter on a tour of the Locust St. facility including this boiler room which serves to heat only the offices housed on the west side of the main garage. The rest of the poorly insulated garage is heated with used motor oil. Officials were advised against insulating the ceilings for fear that snow would no longer melt off the roof causing a collapse.

The $92,000 project, expected to take about two weeks, is intended to increase safety along a 1.2-mile stretch of Route 10 from New South Street to Earle Street.

South Street, which leads to Easthampton, has been the site of dozens of accidents in recent years and residents who live along it have clamored for improvements.

“It’s an exciting launch of making the street narrower, thereby safer,” Ward 4 City Councilor Pamela C. Schwartz said at last week’s council meeting.

Department of Public Works officials are asking drivers to proceed slowly through construction work zones. The DPW said there will be at least one lane of travel open for each direction at all times during the project.

“I think it’s wide enough for constant traffic but you’ll see shifting of lines during the project,” said DPW Director Ned Huntley.

The South Street project calls for installation of double-yellow center lines and wider bike lanes on both sides of the street. The 5-foot bike lanes, to be painted green, would be buffered from the travel lanes by rumble strips set into the pavement on both sides and white fog lines.

The improvements will reduce the size of the roadway, which officials have said is too wide and entices drivers to speed up.

Crews from Hi-Way Safety Systems of Rockland will start work on South Street and New South Street, where they will install new thermoplastic pavement markings, rumble strips and signs.

Thermoplastic markings are heated plastic that last five to 10 years, which Huntley hopes will be enough time before South Street has to be rebuilt. He said the road will reach the end of its life and need replaced in seven to 10 years.

The city is also experimenting with a so-called inlay thermoplastic pavement markings on a small section of the project. This involves milling down into the pavement and filling up the small indentations with the heated thermoplastic markings.

Huntley said this expensive maneuver has proven successful in other communities and lasts longer because plows can’t tear up the markings.

The only night work, weather permitting, will take place tonight when crews install the double yellow center line.

Day work will continue on only one side of South Street at a time.

The project is being funded by traffic mitigation money from construction of the Racing Mart gas station at 54 Easthampton Road and from Mass Development as part of its redevelopment of the former state hospital grounds.

Leeds project

Hi-Way Safety Systems also won the $7,000 contract for improvements to Leonard and Front streets in Leeds. The work, set to start Monday, could be completed in a day, weather permitting. The work calls for new thermoplastic pavement markings and signs.

Huntley said there will be at least one lane of travel open at all times for this project. The work involves installing a double-yellow center line and two white shoulder lines that provide 10-foot travel lanes. The narrower lane is designed to help slow vehicle speeds.

There will also be warning signs installed before curves with advisory speed limits.

The project is being funded by traffic mitigation money from the nearby Beaver Brooks Estates project.

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.