One summer enough for Amherst Foundry Street road work

AMHERST – People living on Amherst’s Foundry Street are getting a break.

Last month, they filled the selectmen’s meeting room to voice their unhappiness at the prospect of having their road torn up for two summers.

Selectmen had told them that doing the work in seven-week segments over two summers was the only way. Clark School is on Foundry Street, and having the road torn up and full of trucks and heavy equipment while school is in session was considered and rejected as an option.

But last week, selectmen said they have found a way to do all the water line replacement and paving work in summer 2015, instead of this summer and next.

Public works Director Bruce Berry talked with school officials again, said Selectman Mike Akillian, and he realized that school vacation in 2015 is longer than usual – from June 8 to Sept. 2 – which is long enough for both the water line replacement and the paving work to be complete between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next school year.

So Berry went back to Continental Paving and Pennichuck Waterworks and “did an excellent job of negotiating a way that all the work could be done” in 2015, the selectman said.

Town officials have also talked to July Fourth parade organizer Nancy Head, and she will adjust the parade route to avoid the construction work.

Liz Overholt, longtime July Fourth Committee member, told selectmen there is a rumor that the committee is not cooperating with the detour plan and that “is absolutely not true.”

Board Chairman Dwight Brew agreed. “Yes, Nancy said, ‘Just let us know what you want to do.’ Everyone is cooperative.”

Berry told the board he will notify Foundry Road residents of the new plan.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at kcleveland@cabinet.com or 673-3100, ext. 304.