South Street project rolling
Plan to widen, beautify road is set to begin in the spring
MILFORD – The widening and beautification of South Street might begin in the spring, said Lincoln Daley, the town’s community development director.
The project has been delayed several times, more recently last summer when the town sent it out to bid and the only bid came at a price officials considered unreasonably high.
Calling it the "much maligned or much anticipated" project, Dailey told the town Budget Committee recently that the rebidding process would start this week. Dailey said if everything goes as planned, the work would begin in early May and be complete in late summer or early fall.
Along with widening, the project involves moving utilities underground and installing new sidewalks and curbs.
Planning started about 10 years ago, and it has been delayed as town officials dealt with numerous hurdles, including the acquisition of easements from public utilities and local property owners and the lengthy reviews required by the state Department of Transportation.
The one bid the town received last year, during a period when contractors were apparently very busy, was double the engineering consultant’s estimate of $700,000.
The area to be improved goes from Union Square south to the railroad right-of-way. It includes widening, moving utilities underground from Union Square to the Christian Scientist Church, relocating overhead utility lines away from the curb from the church to the railroad and building new sidewalks on both sides of the street.
The road, considered a major gateway to the town, is lined with several popular businesses and can be difficult to navigate. Town officials say the work will result in a safer, less congested and better looking road.
The project is considered the continuation of Oval improvements that were initiated in the mid- 1990s by DO-IT (Downtown Ongoing Improvement Team), now called the Milford Improvement Team. Continuing the Oval’s traditional look, South Street’s lighting will be replaced with period fixtures.
The state and federal government are paying 80 percent and the town 20 percent of the cost.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.