Route 202 work begins, library renovations to start in June

  • The Peterborough Town Library renovations are expected to start in June and take about 15 months to complete. Courtesy image—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/15/2020 4:25:57 PM

Work on the Route 202 and Main Street Bridge projects is underway in Peterborough, and work on the Peterborough Town Library is set to start on June 1.

The Main Street bridge is scheduled to close completely toward the end of April, Town Administrator Rodney Bartlett said. Traffic signals were installed on April 8 and 9 at the intersection of Routes 101 and 202. They’re currently flashing, and will begin to mitigate traffic patterns once the bridge closes.

A pedestrian bridge is scheduled to be constructed in another week or so adjacent to the Main Street Bridge, Bartlett said, for use after it closes to all traffic.

Currently, road crews are widening Pine Street to accommodate future work on its retaining wall. The widening is intended to accommodate a sidewalk, he said.

Next, the town is scheduled to replace a stone box culvert near the Bellows Nichols building on Main Street, Bartlett said, in a process that could take about a month. After that’s completed, they’ll repaint the parking spaces along Main Street to make them perpendicular, rather than angled. The move will add more spaces, Bartlett said. “At least in the short term during the bridge project it’ll work just fine,” he said, and the town would reevaluate the space orientation once the bridge reopens.

Peterborough Town Library renovations are going forward after nine years of planning, fundraising, community input and support. The town signed a contract last week with Harvey Construction, from Bedford, which will be overseeing the project along with Ann Beha Architects, of Boston, Massachusetts. There are enough funds in hand to cover the contractors’ guaranteed maximum price, Bartlett said.

“The heroes of this project are the residents, volunteers and generous donors,” Library Director Corinne Chronopoulos said. “The 1833 Society led the effort to raise more than $5 million in private funds, more than $830,000 of which was donated by the Library Trustees from their proprietary funds. The Friends of the Library played a vital role, donating $75,000. In addition, the taxpayers of Peterborough contributed $3 million as part of the warrant article passed in 2018 with 80 percent approval. I’m so proud our town supports a public library that creates powerful literacy opportunities, offers access to information as a basic right to all residents, and contributes to the vitality of our community. This is a public building worth investing in for tomorrow.”

Construction is expected to take 15 months. The historic 1892 portion of the library will be restored, and the 1957 and 1978 wings will be demolished and replaced with and vastly improved spaces for the public which will include a sustainable HVAC system, ADA compliant entrances, and an elevator.

The library is currently developing plans for a virtual goodbye walkthrough.

“The Peterborough Town Library holds an incredible amount of history and is an invaluable resource for the entire region,” Select Board member Bill Taylor said. “I have been completely blown away by the dedication of the 1833 Society, Leo Smith the town finance director, as well as the tireless efforts of Corinne and her staff. It's another fabulous example of how fortunate we all are to call Peterborough home. It's been my honor to play a small part in getting this project to the construction phase. This community effort to bring together a public-private endeavor of this magnitude is another important moment in the history of The Peterborough Town Library.”




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