BRISTOL — The downtown streets of Central Square, which have been torn up as part of the downtown revitalization project over the past two months, will not be completely rebuilt by the Fourth of July holiday as planned.
The cause of the delay has been the recent wet weather.
“Mostly the rain,” said Town Administrator Michael Capone.
“We’ve had 10-12 days of delays, mostly weather-related.”
But one way or the other, the main streets, which connect Route 104 and Interstate 93 to the Newfound Lake region, will be open, strong and safe on the Fourth.
“Whether it’s gravel or pavement, it will all be a uniform surface and traffic should flow without restrictions,” Capone said.Central Square’s pavement and the 100-year-old sewer lines are being torn up by large construction equipment.The work costs $1.7 million, though 80 percent of the money comes from a state-administered federal Transportation Enhancement Program grant.
The project was approved by voters at Town Meeting in 2009. Besides replacing the underground water and sewer lines, the square’s roads, parking spaces and sidewalks are being rebuilt.
Among the goals of the project is to eliminate stretches of awkward downtown streets in order to simplify passage through the downtown area for cars and pedestrians. It will also improve the parking situation by reorienting street-side parking spaces, making them safer for drivers.
Town officials hope the changes will improve the downtown business climate by making it more attractive.The delays will push the completion time into the last two weeks of July, Capone said.