Photo: Reconstruction roadwork in Cushing Square.
Faced with the possibility of a delay in the completion of the massive – and intrusive – road project running through the heart of the town, the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved a request by the contractor of the Trapelo Road/Belmont Street Corridor Reconstruction Project to begin its workday an hour-and-a-half earlier at 5:30 a.m.
The board also agreed to a request to allow Newport Construction Corp. of Nashua, NH to work on Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The new hours – which will be in effect for the duration of the project – will begin in “the next couple of weeks,” said Newport’s Project Manager John Gleason.
The $17.2 million state-funded project broke ground in the fall of 2013, starting the reconstruction of streets, sidewalks and curbs at Mill Street near the Waltham town line. Newport is currently in Cushing Square as the works heads eastward towards Cambridge.
According to Gleason and Ron Strangfeld, the project’s Massachusetts Department of Transportation resident engineer, delays due to weather and other issues put the project off its schedule of completing the reconstruction and final paving by the end of the 2015 construction season. They calculate the project “currently is not on target.”
Adding 15 working hours per week to the job – which Gleason and Strangfeld said is 50 percent complete – “will allow the project to be finished on time” in September.
Gleason told Selectmen Chair Andy Rojas that the first half hour will be for “things that we can do quietly” such as setting up signs and barriers as well as the delivery of concrete.
While there will be some activity, “you won’t hear jackhammering or any loud machines,” he said.
The town will send leaflets to businesses and residents with information on the new hours.