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MWDN: Rte. 9 repaving job slated for April through November

December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009
By Dan McDonald, The MetroWest Daily News

The state has revealed a more specific – albeit tentative – schedule for repaving about 8 miles of Rte. 9.

The $12 million project will cover the busy roadway from Walnut Street in Natick to the Framingham/Southborough border.


The state hopes to advertise the project next month, begin construction in mid-April and end the project by Nov. 15.

“If not sooner,” Mickey Splaine, a state engineer, told dozens of business leaders and local and state officials gathered at the Sheraton yesterday morning.

The project will be undertaken in piecemeal fashion, meaning the entire stretch will not be stripped at once.

“To get this done in one season, we’ll have to do it in phases,” said Splaine.

The grinding and paving will be done at night, to avoid traffic snarls during the daytime.

There will be incentives for the contractor to finish on time and “disincentives,” if they do not, said Splaine.

Co-sponsored by the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce and the 495/MetroWest Partnership, yesterday’s forum offered an opportunity for local public and business leaders to offer input to the state regarding the project.

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Administrator Ed Carr suggested improvement to “bump-outs” for buses, specifically one near the Jefferson Hills apartment complex on Rte. 9.

State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, was concerned about CSX railroad crossings and road drainage issues.

Framingham Selectman Dennis Giombetti implored state officials to keep communication lines open with businesses and residents.

Many things have yet to be ironed out.

For example, it is unclear on which end of the 8-mile strip crews will start and what the exact work times will be.

The state said it had been considering an 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. time frame, but multiple business owners suggested the state push the start time to 9 or 9:30.

The project is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is estimated at $12.5 million.

“It’s been a priority for a few years, but the funding just was not there,” said Splaine.

This section of Rte. 9 was last paved about 20 years ago. “It’s a more durable type of pavement, so we won’t have to come back anytime soon,” said Splaine.

In addition to repaving the road, the project will rebuild wheelchair ramps, remodel drainage infrastructure, reset granite curb and edging, install new granite curbs, and replace berms, according to a state press release.

Safety upgrades include guardrail repair, guardrail end treatment upgrades, replacement of old warning and regulatory signs, new guardrail deflectors, new 6-inch recessed pavement markings and recessed roadway reflectors.

(Dan McDonald can be reached at 508-626-4416 or dmcdonal@cnc.com.)

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