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What's Happening With Construction on Main Street?

We're glad you asked.

If you've wondering why has appeared to be rather sporadic these past two weeks, it's because the bulk of the work hasn't actually started yet.

Before the sidewalks can be redone and new curbing, bump-outs and aesthetic improvements are installed, there is some utility work that needs to be taken care of.

"The primary focus for the weeks of Aug. 20 and 27 are completing all necessary street crossings before the start of school. This work includes the relocation of catch basins, drainage lines and electrical conduits," said Community Development Director Karen Sawyer Wednesday afternoon.

School starts in Peabody Sept. 4 and Salem State University students head back to class Sept. 5.

On Wednesday, with a police officer helping motorists navigate through a pattern of orange cones, workers dug a trench to lay a new line to a catch basin at the intersection of Main and Washington streets.

Once that phase is complete, work will begin on the sidewalks, starting in front of and Nichols Lane, moving down the length of Main Street to the Salem line and then back again along the other side of the street.

Sawyer said excavation of the sidewalks should start the week of Sept. 3 and is expected to progress at a pace of about 200 feet per week with special attention to accommodating vehicular and pedestrian access to businesses by employees and patrons.

She said the general contractor on the project, A.R. Belli out of Newtonville, will meet with individual property and business owners to assess their particular needs as the project moves along. No night work is currently planned for sidewalk excavation.

The city has directed contractors to avoid construction whenever possible during high traffic periods, such as morning and evening rush hour. General work hours are 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Once the sidewalks and curbing are finished, work will then begin on the roadway itself, re-striping the lanes and crosswalks and re-paving the street. That portion of the work is anticipated to move along quickly.

City officials have said most of the project should be complete by November.

Sawyer said the city will be providing regular updates throughout the duration of the project. You can check www.peabody-ma.gov as well for project updates.

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