Construction hits north Warren

$2 million BCWA project first of several coming this spring, summer; traffic changes expected

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Contractors from CB Utility moved their equipment in to north Warren Monday evening, taking the first steps in an ambitious $2 million water main replacement program that is expected to run into the summer.

The Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) project — to replace old and inadequate water mains along Main and Water with new iron pipe — is expected to impact traffic along Main, Water and side streets. The Warren town planner and Discover Warren, Warren’s merchant group, have been spreading the word so businesses and north end residents and businesses can plan around the work and lessen its impact on their lives.

“A positive attitude will be a great help during this process,” Katie Dickson of Discover Warren wrote in a post to members. “We can shake our fists at the sky or we can give our patrons advance notice, point them in the direction of communal parking, and work together to promote Warren as a beautiful destination, even during construction.”

The first phase of the project started at 8 p.m. Monday and involves running new mains from the Warren line to Water Street. Under advice from the state Department of Transportation, all work on Main Street will be carried out Sunday evenings through Thursday mornings, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., to minimize traffic impacts. 

Deputy Warren Police Chief Joseph Loiselle said Monday that Main Street traffic will not be re-routed during the nighttime work. Instead, two detail police officers will alternate traffic through one lane of travel.

“I don’t anticipate it being a big disruption, due to the anticipated lesser volume of traffic during the detail hours,” he said. “That being said, while the construction workers are cognizant of people residing in the area near the construction, residents who abut Main Street from Crescent Street to Water Street should expect more noise than usual.”

The four-day a week schedule will continue until the Main Street portion of the project is done. Toward the beginning of May, CB Utility will begin installing bypass piping on Water Street, and construction on the Water Street portion of the project is expected to begin in mid-May.

As in the first phase of the project, the Water Street work will be broken into four 10-hour shifts per week, Monday through Thursday. However, the work will be done during the day, not at night.

Officials have said Water Street is too narrow for all of the work to continue with one lane of travel open, so sections of Water will be closed, with traffic diverted through side streets, as the workers make their way south on Water. Meanwhile, other work — Water Street improvements, and a sewer project spearheaded by the Tourister Mill developers — will run concurrently.

As with the BCWA work, “we will continue to work together to minimize negative impacts in the community,” Warren Town Planner Kate Michaud said this week.

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