Monday, May 3, 2010

Route 9 Natick Paving Project

By Jessica Rudis, Town Correspondent

State transportation officials told residents of Framingham and Natick
that they would be trying to minimize delays and disruptions from a $12.4 million
resurfacing and upgrading project on Route 9 that moves forward starting next week.
At a public meeting in Framingham Town Hall the officials said that the
Massachusetts Department of Transportation has launched a Web site that will post
weekly updates on the project to inform residents and drivers of traffic and
construction developments.

State offiicials said the repaving project will cover nearly 8 miles from Walnut Street
in Natick to the Framingham/Southborough line. It will also involve ramps at Route
27 in Natick and Route 126 in Framingham.

In addition to repaving, the project includes improvements for pedestrians and
bicyclists, safety upgrades and drainage work.

The project begins this week with the start of drainage system upgrades on Route 9
between Main Street and Ring Road in Framingham.Work on a second phase of the
project running fromWheeler Avenue in Framingham to the
Southborough/Framingham town line will start May 9, and a third phase from Ring
Road in Framingham toWalnut Street in Natick.will begin June 1.

The pace of the work will depend on the weather but most of it should be completed
by November when the project will be suspended for the winter. It should be finished
by June 2011.

The project work week will begin Sunday night and run five overnight shifts from 8
or 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.. A sixth shift starts at 10 p.m. Friday and ends at 7 Saturday

At the meeting residents from the two towns expressed concerns about the project,
saying they were worried about the light and loud noises from the construction area,
which will on some nights be located near their homes.

Kathie McCarthy of Framingham said she lives near the Massachusetts Turnpike and
she recalled that construction there was disruptive. She worried about the impact on
people living near Route 9.

" I know even when they did the (Mass) Pike - I’m actually an abutter to that area -
and it was loud and the lights, you had an awful lot of overflow,'' said McCarthy. "and
I am concerned with those right on Route 9 because you’ll be basically in their living
room with the lights and the sound, "

D. Scott Bennett, the project manager and general superintendent, said the project
will move in phases, minimizing the impact on individual homes.
“It’s not like we’re going to be sitting in front of somebody’s house for three weeks
with a jackhammer,”said Bennett.“We’ll never close the road, but there will be lane

Bennett added that, although all of the work will be overnight to minimize traffic
disruptions, there is nothing to prevent residents from seeing and hearing the project
as the workers mill and repave the roads nightly

Bennett said the sound coming from the construction area will not be that bad for
neighbors. The light is necessary for the safety of the construction workers and is
unavoidable, he said.

All work on the project will end temporarily on Nov. 19, 2010 so drivers can get
through the area for holiday shopping. The project will start up again in April 2011.
John Romano, a DOT municipal affairs liason, said his department will update the
Web site every week with traffic updates and new information about the project.

The project is being funded with federal stimulus money, and is a priority of Gov.
Deval Patrick’s, according to Colin Durrant of the Mass DOT.

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