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Friday, April 15, 2011

A Street Construction Will Complicate

By Rachel Lomot (Class of 2011)

Affecting Framingham High School will be the constructing of a new sewer beginning at the bottom of A Street.  There will be short-term traffic adjustments and possible displacement of cars in the Junior Lot; however, the overall goal is improve the aged sewer systems in Framingham.  It is unclear exactly when the construction will begin; the exact start date hasn’t been determined but it will almost certainly be before the end of the school year. 

Starting in mid-May will be another hefty chuck of construction through the Saxonville area of Framingham.  It is a continuation of the East Framingham Sewer Improvements Project (EFSIP), which addresses “poor existing system capacity conditions, odor and corrosion, and challenges to operation and maintenance of sewers on the eastern edge of town.”

The project on A Street is designed to take about three months.  The contractor will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m.  This being so, morning traffic will not be affected, yet afternoon traffic may increase.  The contractor plans to make A Street a one-lane street only during construction hours.  Throughout the month of May it will cause some delays.

Paul Scott, the director of the Department of Public Works, acknowledges that traffic will become an annoyance.  He states, “delays and some level of inconvenience is unavoidable and should be expected.”  Despite this, Scott is definite that fire and police departments will be able to get through, as will buses and any other form of school transportation including parents.

A major dilemma may be that the Junior Parking Lot will be used for storage of construction materials.  As of now Scott quotes, “Although the use of the Junior lot has been discussed, there are no definite plans to do so at this time. I will let everyone know as we get closer to the start of the construction.”

Overall, this project is designed to take three years and has an estimated cost of $40 million.  The current A Street project is Phase II in the planned events.  When complete, the sewers of East Framingham will be more efficient and water waste will be minimized.

Specifically on A Street, the construction will include the insertion of a new force main and replacement of old water pipes.  Framingham has had the same sewer system for over one hundred years, so it is long overdue.  The road will be torn up, but the trenches will be temporarily patched until the new roadway can be set down.

The website, www.buildingframingham.com, is available for project information, schedule questions, and traffic plans.  If signed up, one can receive “alerts” on the impacts the construction may have.

If all goes smoothly the project regarding A Street should be complete by the end of the summer.  Overall concern for underclassmen will remain for the last month of school but the contractor is convinced delays will be kept to a minimum.  How this really plays out cannot be determined until construction has begun.