SHA: Milling­ton streetscape project is fully funded now

Kent County News - - NEWS - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­tynews.com

MILLING­TON — The scope of a newly named “ur­ban re­con­struc­tion” project along state Route 291 through town has changed, ac­cord­ing to a pre­sen­ta­tion by the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion to the Milling­ton Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The project, about 0.65 miles long from west of School Street to east of Crane Street, will im­prove drainage, im­prove pedes­trian con­nec­tiv­ity and bring side­walks in com­pli­ance with Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act reg­u­la­tions, project man­ager Ben­jamin Storm said at the Oct. 25 meet­ing.

He said about 80 per­cent of side­walks in the project area cur­rently are not ADA com­pli­ant.

Also planned: re­con­struc­tion of curb­ing and gut­ters; in­stal­la­tion of storm drains at the in­ter­sec­tion of state routes 291 and 313; resur­fac­ing of the road­way at the four cor­ners; and land­scap­ing im­prove­ments.

An en­larged map show­ing the ar­eas of dis­tur­bance was thumb­tacked on a wall to fa­cil­i­tate Storm’s pre­sen­ta­tion.

There have been a cou­ple of changes in the two-plus years since the SHA held its last pub­lic meet­ing in Milling­ton. In July 2016 the project was called street beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, short­ened to streetscape.

Storm said the park­ing area along Route 291 east­bound will be re­tained; it was slated to be re­moved, ac­cord­ing to the specs of the pre­vi­ous pro­posal.

An­other change is that the stormwa­ter man­age­ment ponds will be re­moved.

Storm re­ported that the project is fully funded; that means de­sign, right-of-way ac­qui­si­tion and con­struc­tion.

The time­line is to ad­ver­tise for bids this week with con­struc­tion to be­gin next spring. Dur­ing con­struc­tion, there will be one-lane clo­sure with flag­men.

Milling­ton Coun­cil­man Kevin Hem­stock asked about the cost.

Storm said the range is $1 mil­lion to $2.5 mil­lion, but he would not be more spe­cific be­cause SHA is in the pro­cure­ment phase of the project.

Also from the au­di­ence, Mary­land Massey asked about the fate of the large, cen­tury-old Sycamore trees on Cy­press Street.

They likely will be taken down be­cause “we’re look­ing at rais­ing the side­walks,” said de­sign en­gi­neer More­sh­war Kulka­rni. “From a safety stand­point, they shouldn’t be there. They’re too close to the road.”

He said trees would be planted to re­place what are taken down.

This was the monthly meet­ing of the town’s plan­ning com­mis­sion, but the Cy­press Street project was the only item on the agenda. Chair­man Joyce Mo­rales and com­mis­sion mem­bers Sam John­ston and Moe Mor­ton at­tended.

The meet­ing was held in the fire­house to ac­com­mo­date a larger au­di­ence. It started at 7 p.m. and ad­journed at 7:26 p.m.

A to­tal of three SHA en­gi­neers at­tended. They stayed around af­ter the meet­ing ended to an­swer res­i­dents’ ques­tions.

PHOTO BY TR­ISH MCGEE

Milling­ton res­i­dents Mary­land Massey, cen­ter, and Ja­son Fel­lows, right, talk with State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion en­gi­neer MarieFrance Guiteau about the state Route 291 project. In the back­ground, re­view­ing a map of the area, is Milling­ton Coun­cil­man Wayne Starkey.

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