The multi-year full reconstruction of Ferry Street and Elm Street is nearing a start date, according to project managers, with the City Council approving on Monday night some 300 easements needed to start the project.
The easements are mostly five-year temporary easements along the route that will serve for temporary access to accommodate work crews and equipment. Some 13 easements will be permanent and used for sidewalks, said Project Manager Kristopher Surette.
The Council voted to appropriate $2 million for the easements, all of which is covered by a federal and state grant for the project. City CFO Eric Demas said it is a very significant project and would cost more than $30 million.
The only piece that the City would end up paying for is some water line work that isn’t available for reimbursement.
Surette said the project is in line to be advertised on March 6, and work could begin in late summer to fall. It is expected at the most to be a five-year project, but could be shorter. Already, the gas line and water line work has been completed.
Surette said abutters getting a permanent easement agreement are qualified to be paid for the land, but he said already three of the 13 have donated the land to help the project along.
Significant work on the easements was done by City Solicitor Colleen Mejia as well, Surette said.
Residents along the route can expect to have two or three days of disruption in front of their properties as the project goes along. There is a chance they could lose parking for that short period of time or have their driveways blocked off.
There will be strict rules about digging up the street once the project is completed, Surette said, since it is a federal project.
“You will not have a trench dug down the middle of Ferry Street for many, many years after this is done,” he said.