MANCHESTER — A stretch of Wellington Road that has been closed during a major sewer installation project is scheduled to reopen in time for school bus traffic when Manchester schools resume classes next week.
The road has been closed during a major construction project installing a sewer line that will serve northeastern Manchester and protect the Lake Massabesic watershed, said Fred McNeill, chief engineer for the city Environmental Protection Division.
McNeill said Thursday a new bridge should be ready for school bus traffic on Wednesday, the first day of classes for Manchester public schools.
"We had to do the road closure because of the bridge construction," McNeill said. "Normally we try to keep the road open, but sometimes due to safety and blasting we do have to close portions."
The bridge spans a small brook west of the Londonderry Turnpike and replaces two culverts that were deteriorating beneath the old road. The north side of the bridge is finished and construction crews were working on the south side Thursday afternoon.
Initially, traffic between Londonderry Turnpike to Eastwind Drive will be limited to school buses and emergency vehicles on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The city plans to open the road to general traffic on that stretch during non-working hours starting Friday evening.
Wellington Road residents have been able to only go west on the road since July.
Al Kula, who lives a couple hundred yards west of the new bridge, was observing the construction progress Thursday afternoon. As much as he would like to see the project completed, the limited traffic has made it a quiet summer along Wellington.
"It takes me about 10 minutes out of my way, but it hasn't been that bad. It's been kind of nice living on a cul-de-sac," Kula said.
McNeill said the sewer installation will continue west on Wellington and some blasting will be required between Eastwind Drive and Tiffany Lane. That work is scheduled to begin Sept. 16 and be completed Oct. 4.
McNeill said construction on the $8 million Cohas Brook Sewer Project is about 75 percent complete and should be finished by the end of the calendar year.