Weather Blamed For Baker Street Project Delay

Weather Blamed For Baker Street Project Delay
Due to the unusually cold temperatures of late, asphalt work on Baker Street has been postponed and a new timetable will be known in the near future. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Officials say poor weather conditions are to blame for delays in the Baker Street repair project in Berlin.

The project, which began late last fall, is part of an effort to restore the historic oyster shell cement found along Baker Street

Until last year, the road has served as an alternative route for Adkins Company trucks after the company closed a portion of Harrison Avenue to the public. As a result, the two-toned street has received significant wear to its oyster shell cement and surrounding asphalt.

In October, the town awarded a $139,364 contract to Goody Hill Groundwork Inc. to make improvements to Baker Street, the last roadway in town to contain oyster shell cement.

While the lowest bid was nearly $20,000 over the town’s budget, the larger price tag would also account for and correct additional issues on Baker Street.

In addition to repairing the oyster shell cement and replacing the surrounding asphalt, Goody Hill was also tasked with addressing drainage issues, replacing damaged portions of the sidewalk and repaving an additional portion of the roadway beyond the railroad tracks.

While officials had hoped to finish the work prior to the holiday season, Town Administrator Laura Allen said below freezing temperatures has delayed progress along Baker Street.

“They’ve done the sidewalk work and they’ve prepped the site for paving,” she said, “but there is no asphalt available at this time because of the weather.”

Allen said the same weather-related factors are also prohibiting crews from repairing the cement in the center of the street.

“They are looking at an additive for the cement and what they can put in it to harden it so they can finish it sooner rather than later,” she said.

Allen also attributes the delays to time spent color matching new and old cement.

“There were some specific challenges to this project,” she said.

Allen said a revised timeline will be discussed in a meeting with the project coordinator later this week.

“If we can get five days above freezing, we can wrap it up,” she said. “It’s largely a function of the weather, which we can’t control.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.