Roadwork part of effort to revitalize South Hadley Falls

  • South Hadley Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/28/2019 5:31:14 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — A $1 million MassWorks grant for roadwork on Gaylord Street and a nearby community parking lot will fund the town’s latest efforts to revitalize South Hadley Falls.

The project, which began Monday, will see Gaylord Street resurfaced with added bike lanes, sidewalks and two crosswalks with flashing beacons, according to Department of Public Works Superintendent Jim Reidy. The community parking lot at the intersection of Main Street and Bardwell Street will be resurfaced, restriped and have new guardrails installed. 

Crews will also install a new water main from Bardwell Street to Prospect Street as part of the project. 

“We’re very excited and thankful for the money, and we think it’s going to be a nice shot in the arm to the Falls,” Reidy said.

The project will “improve a major roadway through the industrial area,” said Town Planner Richard Harris, which will in turn support the neighborhood’s smart growth district, help to attract housing and mixed-use developments, and support existing businesses such as E Ink and Mohawk Fine Papers.

“It’s not a complete street right now,” Harris said. “It’s kind of narrow for traffic and doesn’t accommodate sidewalks or bicyclists,” adding that the parking lot also “needed work badly.”

Harris said that the project will also add a grassed area in the parking lot and replace a drainage area along Gaylord Street, which will reduce the road and parking lot’s impact on surrounding perennial streams and improve stormwater.  

Crews are currently working to replace the water main, which requires a detour around the affected portion of Gaylord Street. Reidy advised the public to expect delays and try to find an alternate route.

Daily roadwork typically begins at 7 a.m. and ends at around 3 to 3:30 p.m., Reidy said, after which time the detours will be lifted.

Upcoming sidewalk and curb work are not expected to cause detours, Reidy said, but will likely reduce the stretch of road to one lane of traffic. An additional detour will be put in place when crews complete final paving, which is expected to occur “a couple months from now.”

Reidy said that crews will try to keep “at least half of the lot open at a time” in the community parking lot, which has a total of 40 spaces regularly. 

The town had submitted applications for similar projects before the current roadwork was approved by MassWorks in 2017.

The grant stipulates that the town must complete the roadwork by June 30.

“We have that deadline, and we’re confident that we’re going to make it,” Reidy said.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com. 


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