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Main Street Construction to Resume in Spring

Planting trees, redoing sidewalks on the other side of the street and the actual lane reconfiguration on Main Street will have to wait until springtime.

City officials say construction on Main Street has wrapped up for the season, so theoretically the commute through the downtown should be a little easier now.

Community Development Director Karen Sawyer said on Tuesday that due to the colder weather setting in, the project will pause for the winter and resume again in the spring.

Sawyer said the project has reached the point where it was expected to be at given the seasonal weather.

So far, workers have torn up and replaced the sidewalk on the northerly side of the street all the way down to CVS, generally widening it and installing brick pavers, along with "bump outs" near crosswalks.

Orange barrels dot the length of the street, covering patches of dirt where new trees will be planted.

The sidewalk on the other side of Main Street will be excavated and widened come spring, followed by the actual reconfiguration of the travel lanes from four down to two. There will be a center turning lane from Washington Street to Howley Street.

"We'll start back up as soon as the asphalt plants re-open in the spring," Sawyer said.

For the past few months, parking has also essentially been free of charge along Main Street due to the construction. As a "goodwill gesture," Sawyer said, parking meters were covered up and at times removed as needed for construction.

She said the goal is to have the project completed by June 30 to meet the deadline for the lifetime of the state MassWorks grant, which is paying for the bulk of the work ($1.5 million).

Deanne Healey, the president of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, who is keeping close tabs on the project and posts regular updates on construction, says the work is just the beginning of transformation to the downtown.

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