ADAMS -- Town Administrator Jonathan Butler is proposing to use about $200,000 in Chapter 90 state highway aid to kickstart renovations to Park Street.
Butler will ask the Board of Selectmen at its Wednesday meeting for approval to use the Chapter 90 money, which the state grants every municipality annually for highway and infrastructure upgrades, for the $875,000 project. The additional $700,000 will be paid for through a state Community Development Block Grant fund.
The redesign, which will see a complete repaving of Park Street and sidewalk improvements, was originally expected to begin earlier this summer. But after two rounds of bidding, both with low-bids well over what had been anticipated, Butler has proposed to fill the gap with the town’s Chapter 90 money.
"The town’s in good shape in terms of our Chapter 90 reserves," Butler said. "Ours has been managed very well over the years"
Butler said that, with the Selectmen’s backing, the low-bidding company, Pittsfield-based J.H. Maxymillian, could be under contract as early as next week. The project is expected to take approximately three to four months, Butler said, and could run into next construction season.
"Portions of the project can be finished next year," Butler said, such as the more aesthetic fixes included in the work.
Butler said he and other town officials saw the Park Street project as a top priority, because it affects businesses and residents downtown. And despite the delay, the project has not changed in scope, according to Butler.
In addition to the repaving of the road and remodeling of sidewalks, the crosswalks on Park Street between the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and Adams Memorial Library will be redesigned to improve pedestrian safety, a frequent source of complaints to town officials.
Community Development Director Donna Cesan, who could not be reached Tuesday, told The Eagle earlier this year that the project would cause some disruption, but that it would be as "minimal as possible."