standing road work

WESTERLY — An ongoing paving and sidewalk project in the commercial district of Watch Hill will be extended to the upper portion of Larkin Road and Bluff Avenue. Work on Plimpton Avenue is also planned.

The Town Council on Monday voted 5-0 to approve spending $205,269 to pay for the extra work, which will supplement the paving and sidewalk work project on Bay Street. The funds will be taken from the $6 million 2014 road bond.

Town Manager J. Mark Rooney said he proposed extending the  project to Larkin Road and Bluff Avenue because of the hazardous conditions of some of the sidewalks, and to capitalize on the presence of the construction company that was already mobilized and working on the Bay Street project.

Town Engineer Kyle Zalaski, during a presentation to the Town Council on Monday, said the newly added work will address Americans with Disabilities Act deficiencies such as sidewalks that lack ramps for wheelchairs or sidewalks that end abruptly at driveways.

"We're locked in at a great price and it's an opportune time to take care of some of the hazards we have," Zalaski said.

The first phase of the work, on Larkin Road and Bluff Avenue, will be completed before Memorial Day so as not to conflict with the tourist season. A second phase, paving and sidewalk work on Plimpton Avenue, will take place after Labor Day, Zalaski said.

The work currently taking place on Bay Street is the final phase of a project that also addressed the drainage system on and around Bay Street. The project also involved laying conduit in preparation for the installation of underground utility lines. The current work is being paid for with $1.4 million from the state Transportation Improvement Fund. The Watch Hill Conservancy paid about $730,000 for the first phase of the project, which was accomplished in 2011-13.

A public information meeting on the project and what remains to be done is scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. at St. Clair Annex, 141 Bay St.

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