caption, page 5:

On its Way
Work has begun already on the municipal parking lot downtown. Linda Lemmon photo.

in Putnam
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — Town crews will be hard at work for the upcoming construction season, starting April 8.
Weather permitting, two projects kick off the construction downtown.
Travis Sirrine, highway superintendent, said the sidewalks on both sides of Canal Street, from Nikki’s to Rt. 44 will be redone.
The Main Street parking lot, next to the Congregational Church of Putnam, will be redone. Town crews have already removed the scrub trees and bushes from Main Street to Livery Street. He said the lot was squared off at the church’s rear parking lot. Sirrine said that the paving will be ground up and repaved. The lot will be recurbed and replanted. New stripes will be added. He expects that the lot will gain three to five parking spaces. Sirrine added that from what they saw digging it out, it “sure looked like it’d been a long time” since the lot had been done.
He anticipates that it will take seven to 10 days to complete the work on Canal Street and the Main Street parking lot, weather permitting. Canal Street and the parking lot will be closed while the work is done.
Sirrine said that they could have kept parts open during the work but it will take “much less time” if the lot and the street are closed during the work.
The idea, he said, is to complete the work on Canal Street and the Main Street parking lot before the first First Fridays on May 3.
What follows is a repaving project for the whole downtown block. Starting on May 6 — and weather permitting — the following streets will be milled down and paved: Main Street, Bundy Street, Livery Street, Lee Street and Canal Street.
He said crews will be grinding at night and paving during the day. “The whole square will be done,” he said.
Any drainage issues will be addressed, for example replacing catch basins as needed.
He said the water and sewer department have no plans to be doing any work in that area (i.e. no new waterlines, etc.).
He said because the area will be closed, it should take “probably (only) a week” (weather permitting) to do the work.
The projects around downtown total $300,000 to $350,000 and the money comes from the town budget.
Near Murphy Park, on the other hand, the bridge replacement project is 80 percent funded by a federal program.
The replacement of the Recreation Park Bridge will begin April 8. The bridge will be closed for the entire project, which may stretch to the end of the construction season, November.
He said there would be detour signs. The total cost of the bridge project is $2.5 million and it is through the Federal Local Bridge Program. It will be administered through the State Department of Transportation. The federal government pays 80 percent and the town picks up 20 percent.
Sirrine said that the bridge is “quite old” and an inspection said it is due for replacement.
He said 6 or 7 miles of road are slated for “crack/sealing” this spring. When the new town budget kicks in in July more roads will be slated for work.
The town, he said, is keeping the good roads good with maintenance and replacing roads as the budget allows.


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