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Elm Street roadway project nearing completion

Aug. 20, 2014 | Chris Goudreau

EAST LONGMEADOW – The roughly $800,000 Elm Street roadwork project is currently in its cleanup phase and is scheduled to be completed before students at nearby Mapleshade Elementary School begin walking or taking the bus to and after from during the upcoming 2014-2015 school year

“The street looks like a brand new street at this point,” Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent Robert Peirent said. “And it’s a street that we anticipate will last for the next 15 or 20 years without the need for any major maintenance or reconstruction.”

Funding for the project came from the Commonwealth’s Chapter 90 program, Peirent stated.

Before the project began nearly a month ago, the road had poor drainage, a large number of potholes and puddles, and a rough surface, he explained.

The entire roadway has been through a process of reclamation, which involves pulverizing the pavement’s surface and blending it down into the subsurface material to strengthen that layer prior to the placement of a new pavement, he said.

“Grates were adjusted to make drainage work better, to allow water to sheet off the roadway more correctly, and then the street was repaved,” Peirent added.

The lane lines and crosswalks have also been painted in the roadway, he said.

Currently, the project is finishing its final grading process near the edges of the roadway and workers are preparing to seed areas for grass, he said.

This cleanup phase is scheduled to be finished within a couple weeks.

Grading involves the use of mechanized equipment to shape a roadway, he said.

“With regard to the paving and roadwork on Elm Street, we work very closely with the town DPW,” Superintendent of Schools Gordon Smith said. “They have done an excellent job keeping us informed of the progress and the potential detours.

“The work has gone exceptionally well,” he added. “We do not foresee any problems with the start of school and our bus routes. We, however, will work closely with the DPW and the East Longmeadow Police Department in order to be sure that we are aware of any potential detours.”

The Elm Street project was also worked in conjunction with the improvement to traffic signals on Mapleshade Avenue and Elm Street, Peirent said.

“The traffic portions of the signal work had to be done before the road was paved,” he said. “The subsurface material ... there was some conduits and wiring that needed to be installed in the roadway.”

New traffic signals and controllers will be completely installed near Mapleshade Avenue by late September or early October, Peirent added.

“There are new handicap access ramps being constructed as we speak in that intersection [of Elm Street and Mapleshade Avenue] as well,” he said.

Peirent said he thinks town residents and people have driven on the road are happy with the project’s result.  

“It’s been known for a long time that that road has required repair,” he said. “It’s been the roadway that we spend the most maintaining and fixing potholes on year after year.”

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