Market Street road paving

Workers smoothing out the base coat along Market Street from Dorset Street past the Rick Marcotte Central School entrance Monday.

The Market Street reconstruction project is almost complete. Travel up and down the road should be noticeably smoother even with work on the 180 Market Street city hall/library/senior center project likely starting this fall, city officials say. 

“We’re getting near the end,” Public Works Director Justin Rabidoux said. “But the real message is to the folks that had to kind of endure both our presence and the road conditions, this time around, as they return to school, they’ll be greeted by a nice coat of pavement and not as many people in the road working.” 

This spring construction on the western end of Market Street near Dorset Street and the Rick Marcotte Central School proved challenging, especially during peak student drop-off and pick-up times. The city held out as long as possible before commencing work near the school, Rabidoux told The Other Paper in June.

But this week, Market Street donned its base coat of pavement from Dorset Street through the intersection near the school, creating an improved driving surface. The new surface comes just in time for the start of school with in-service for staff on Aug. 22 and 23 and students returning on the 27th.  It joins the previously paved eastern end of the road.

“In terms of ease of access from the quality and the condition of the ride and the level of friction that’ll be felt from the commuting and the Marcotte public, things will be greatly improved,” Rabidoux said. “We’re no longer in the middle of the road with a pile of gravel 10-feet high.”

Following the base coat will be “behind the curb” work, he said. This includes installing streetlights, sidewalks, recreational paths and the curb itself. 

Additionally, Silva Cell technology will be implemented to create a healthy growing space for roadside trees. Silva Cell technology uses a combination of soils to help direct the roots of trees and help them flourish, while also protecting sidewalk and road infrastructure. 

The stormwater pond and landscaping are also taking shape. 

“The stormwater pond really looks gorgeous and is coming along really nicely from a landscaping perspective,” Rabidoux said

Typically, about 6 percent of new plantings die, regardless of watering and other care efforts, Rabidoux said. He added the landscaper has guaranteed to replace those plants free of charge for up to one year. 

In late October or early November, the topcoat of asphalt and pavement markings will be added to the street, completing the project after nearly 17-months.  

The total cost of the project was about $7.1 million, however about $5 million was earmarked from federal transportation funds. 

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