Southwick road work on target for completion

SOUTHWICK – Road work along College Highway is on track for a completion date of August 8.
The work, which included the widening of the street and addition of sidewalks from Tannery Road to Town Hall, began last summer. This week, town officials met with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to discuss the timeline for the state project.  The DOT project features not only new sidewalks, but a wider road, a third lane for turning only in the center of town, and will include decorative lighting.
“The new timeline we’ve been given is that curbs, sidewalks and widening will be done by June 29,” said Department of Public Works Director Jeffrey Neece. “Milling from Valvoline to just south of Town Hall will take place June 20-July 10, full-depth removal of pavement from Valvoline to Tannery Road is set for July 2-13, and final paving is scheduled from July 11-31.”
Neece said the work is slightly behind the original schedule, but is on target for completion. Neece said, in addition to the actual road work, utility poles have been moved.
“I’m happy that Northeast Utilities crews are out changing service from the old poles to the newly located poles,” said Neece.
While Neece is pleased with recent progress of the project, Richard Battistoni, owner of Interstate Building Supply, is not as positive.
“This has really hurt my business,” Battistoni said of the road work. “I’ve talked to everyone else around here, and it’s the same.”
Battistoni said customers have a tough time entering and exiting his business.
“It’s killed my business and a lot of people wait to come in until after 3 p.m. when the (road crews) leave,” he said. “It’s a nightmare.”
Battistoni will be happy when the project is done.  However, he said another concern for him is with the drainage problem at the intersection of Coes Hill Road and College Highway. Interstate Building Supply is located at that corner and Battistoni said the water that collects on his property is a problem that he expects will only get worse.
“What am I supposed to do when the new sidewalk, which I’m responsible for, is a block of ice?” said Battistoni. “I thought this was going to be a solution to the problem, but it’s not.”

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