By: Dennis Hohenberger
Article Credit: MassLive
HOLYOKE — Drivers can expect torn-up streets, barriers, delays and street closures in the coming months as $3.6 million in road projects begin downtown.
In a statement, Mayor Alex Morse’s office said Gagliarducci Construction has started preliminary work on the projects, a joint effort of the city and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
The projects include updating utilities and road improvements on Dwight Street, Maple Street to the First Level Canal and Front and Heritage streets. By Tuesday, workers had stripped most of Heritage Street of its asphalt.
For years, drivers faced a bumpy ride down Heritage Street, a route riddled with uneven cobblestone.
Morse said a $1.6 million MassWorks grant partly funds the project. Construction, which includes new sidewalks and landscaping, should take 18 months to finish.
The statement noted an increase in construction activities as Holyoke Gas & Electric replaces an “antiquated” main under Dwight Street from High Street to the Children’s Museum.
“Their work is expected to take two to three weeks to complete. Traffic along portions of High Street will be restricted to one lane of alternating traffic at times,” the statement said. A Holyoke police officer was directing traffic near the site.
Work by HG&E and Gagliarducci will have a short-term impact on the area. “The city will provide project updates on a weekly basis to help residents and visitors to the city plan their trips to Downtown,” the statement said.
A 2½-year project to replace the Lyman Street Bridge over the First Level Canal, along with improvements to Lyman, Front and Main streets, will start soon. The $6.6 million project will shut down parts of Lyman Street, with traffic rerouted on both sides of bridge either onto Maple or Race streets.
The bridge and road project will start in the fall and continue until late fall 2021. “Lyman Street will remain open to local traffic at both ends, and a temporary bridge will allow pedestrians to continue to cross the canal,” the statement said.
In the next few weeks, the Lyman Street bridge will temporarily close to allow crews to complete utility work before the main project starts. The city promises updates on the MassDOT project.
“Although there may be some traffic delays during the workday, downtown Holyoke remains fully open for business while these projects are ongoing,” the statement said.