Mountain Road project issues addressed

LYNDEBOROUGH – The reconstruction of Mountain Road will begin Monday, June 6, and is scheduled to be essentially complete by Thursday, Aug. 11.

Final cleanup should be completed by mid-September. On Tuesday, May 3, about 25 people met at Citizens’ Hall to ask questions about the project and air their concerns. The project overview was presented by Kevin Leonard, of Northpoint Engineering, designer of the project, and Robert Maccini, of Kingsbury Cos. in Waitsfield, Vt., who is the project manager of the construction.

Also present to answer residents’ questions were Selectmen Fred Douglas and Lee Mayhew, road agent Kent Perry, Police Chief Rance Deware, Fire Chief Brian Smith and Ambulance Service Director Gary Zirpolo. The nonconfrontational meeting lasted for more than an hour.

Main concerns included communication with residents and emergency services, whether the road would be totally closed and if so, or how long, and the new drainage systems leading to Badger Pond. Work will be done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the road will be open for residents going to and from work. The road will have one lane open during the day except for the several short times when the new box culvert is installed near the pond and other waterways are being dealt with. If the road is closed, cars will be detoured onto Crooked S or New roads.

"At some point," Leonard said, "we will be in front of everybody’s driveway," and arrangements are being made for regular mail delivery. Mayhew said arrangements will be made with the Post Office to hold mail there if needed. "It’s conceivable that you could lose delivery service for a day or two," Mayhew said. Deware asked that his department be notified daily of the road conditions so that arrangements would be made in advance for fire trucks and emergency vehicles. Douglas noted that "Crooked S is narrow, and that will cut down on response time." Resident David Schmechel said he was concerned about the new drainage putting more water onto his hay fields near Badger Pond. He was told there would be "no more water" than now, and that the ditches in his field need to be kept clear. Maccini said the new catch basins and sumps would cut down on silt and that the flow would be faster. The work shouldn’t interfere with haying operations.

The reconstruction reaches from Center Road to the end of the current pavement. Kingsbury will work on four sections, with the town highway department doing the sections between them. Progress of the work and reports will be posted on the town’s website, where there will also be a project map.

"I would like to commend all the parties involved; it’s been exemplary," resident Zeke Harkletoad said, then asked if there was a place where "I could go to address you gentlemen" if he has a concern. Maccini said they would have an office at the site. Selectmen said there would be a weekly meeting at Center Hall to discuss progress.

In addition, residents can call Perry or Town Administrator Russ Boland. "All property owners will be notified when work will be in front of their homes," Maccini said. Douglas said work was scheduled to begin at 7 a.m., "but does that mean you’ll be on the site at 6:30 getting ready?" Maccini said they would keep in mind those going to work.