BERLIN–Motorists traveling William Street can expect a detour in the coming weeks as work to replace a culvert gets underway.
Though work officially began on William Street Wednesday, the road will not be closed until Aug. 28. Officials expect it to be closed four to six weeks as the culvert is replaced.
“We’re just asking folks to be patient as we get this project completed,” said Laura Allen, Berlin’s town administrator.
The culvert replacement project is one of several efforts the town has made in recent years to improve drainage. On William Street workers will open the road to remove the existing culvert and replace it with a larger one before repairing the street. Allen said the project was similar to the one recently completed on Flower Street.
In addition to replacing the culvert, crews will also be installing an offline wetland in the area to further aid in drainage.
“It should help with flooding and water quality issues,” Allen said, explaining that water was filtered as it passed through the wetland. “That’ll be across from the culvert.”
While the wetland won’t be as large as what’s behind the Flower Street Multi-Purpose Building, Allen says it will still be effective.
“It’ll be sized appropriately for the neighborhood,” she said.
When asked whether the new culvert would result in improved drainage immediately, Allen indicated that it was expected to.
“We’ve seen pretty immediate results in the Flower Street area,” she said.
While it’s impossible to say exactly how long the culvert replacement will take, officials are asking residents to plan on dealing with the road closure for six weeks.
“It’s hard to tell exactly how many days the project will take to complete because of the nature of the work and our dependence on the weather,” Allen said. “We recognize the importance of the Labor Day weekend to our residents and guests. It is likely that William Street will be closed that weekend. We will have detour signs in place for our guests to follow so they can easily find our cool, historic downtown.”
While many may have noticed that William Street was closed in the area of Franklin Avenue last weekend, Allen said that was not related to the culvert project. On Aug. 19, the road was closed and 10 homes were evacuated for a few hours after a gas line break. According to Allen, crews were performing a planned water line repair when they hit an unmarked gas line.