$2.6 million bond to target Union St.
Work would include Adams Park area
PETERBOROUGH — A proposal for a $2.6 million bond to upgrade Union Street from Main Street to Scott-Winn Road should be fairly noncontroversial at the open session of Town Meeting on May 15, according to Public Works Director Rodney Bartlett.
“It’s fairly well recognized that the road needs a significant facelift,” Bartlett said on Tuesday. “Once you’ve taken a ride down Union Street, it speaks for itself.”
Bartlett said the road is bumpy and potholed, so roadwork is necessary. But the town is also planning to study traffic calming options, especially for the area around the town’s ballfields, tennis courts and pool at Adams Park.
“We need to look at how we can make the area as safe as possible for children and parents,” Bartlett said. “The road carries roughly 2,700 vehicles a day. You have parking on both sides of the road, activities on both sides of the road. Most of that section of Union Street is long and straight and there’s a need to address vehicle speed.”
Bartlett said very little design or engineering work has been done so far. The $2.6 million that voters will asked to improve would cover design, bidding and construction of the road and water and sewer line improvements. Some old sewer lines will need replacement and two water mains need to be upgraded.
“That part of the work won’t be extensive,” Bartlett said.
The traffic calming measures added when the section of Union Street in West Peterborough was rebuilt a few years ago could serve as a model for changes near Adams Park.
“We built tabled crosswalks there,” Bartlett said. “The slight elevation makes for better visibility of pedestrians and the hump also slows traffic. Those treatments in West Peterborough have been pretty effective.”
Bartlett said the section of road from the recreational fields to Scott-Winn Road will be fairly simple to fix. The town will just need to reconstruct the road base, rebuild the sidewalk and repave the road. The section between Main Street and the fields will be more complex. Bartlett said he would be meeting with the Recreation Committee to get a sense of the demands on the fields and public meetings will be held when the design process gets under way.
If the bond is approved, Bartlett said, some work could start as early as this summer, but the majority of the construction would happen in 2014.
The bond would not include any funding for changes at the five-way intersection of Main, Union, Elm, Vine and High streets. Bartlett said Wednesday that the Southwest Region Planning Commission is currently doing a study of the intersection, which could be eligible for funding to improvements under the Safe Routes to Schools initiative, because many students at Peterborough Elementary School pass through the intersection daily. He said PES Principal Ben Loi, SMS Principal Dick Dunning, ConVal Facilities Manager Tim Grossi,
Peterborough Recreation Director Jeff King and others are providing input and a recommendation could be made this summer. Then the town might use that information to apply for as much as $250,000 in grant funding.
Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.