Two Westfield construction updates

WESTFIELD—According to city engineer Mark Cressotti, the line painting on Franklin Street should be starting back up as early as today.

The Franklin Street project is just one of several currently ongoing or soon beginning in the city, as Westfield and the region are in the throes of construction season.  Franklin Street has seen some delays starting back as early as June 9, Cressotti said.

 “We are having some trouble with the line striper, they should be coming back [July 5 and July 6],” Cressotti said. “We thought they were coming back for about a month, now hopefully they perform.”

According to Cressotti, the delays have included issues with weather, as well as an accident. There was also a chance for work to be finished last week, but another issue arose.

Lines and arrows on Franklin Street as they continue to get painted. The new lane is part of a road diet for the street, and is meant to help improve traffic flow. The lane was formerly two other travel lanes, with some space added to the side of the road for bicyclists. This lane will be used as a multi-turn lane for motorized vehicles.

“We had some performance just last week and they didn’t finish it in time,” he said. “They had mechanical problems.”

The line painting is part of a road diet for Franklin Street, which means a slimming of existing lanes that allows for additional traffic flow improvements on a roadway. The process is being done to better accommodate different modes of travel, especially bicycle.

The roadway is being reduced from four travel lanes for motorized vehicles to three. One of those three travel lanes will be a multi-turn center lane, similar to what is seen on North Elm Street, where vehicles can opt to enter and turn across the other lane of traffic. In addition, space on the sides of the road will be increased to better improve bicycle and non-motorized vehicle travel.

Joseph Avenue sanitary improvements

Also occurring in the city is the Joseph Avenue-area sanitary improvements. This project is “moving along,” according to Cressotti, and traffic flow moderation and disruption is expected to continue, with Paper Mill Road expected to be affected soon.

“They are going to be getting to a point where they are closing off a portion of Paper Mill Road,” Cressotti said.

He said that the city is looking at the detour this week.

“The one that is going to be hardest is when they get onto that section from Paper Mill Road to Mockingbird Lane,” Cressotti said. “There’s no other way to send them around other than a real difficult route through a neighborhood.”

According to Cressotti, the detour may include giving a notice to truck drivers to avoid Paper Mill Road entirely.

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