Winter weather has put a bit of a hiccup in the Dupont Rd. construction project. Last week Friday, icy conditions brought all work to a halt.
The city’s goal is to take the road from two open lanes to four lanes by the end of this year when the winter hits. They’ll need the weather to cooperate, though. As of last week, it’s not doing that.
“We had said we would try to get those lanes open by this year,” said Frank Suarez, spokesman for public works and city utilities. “We don’t have an actual firm date. It was in the schedule to be completed, weather cooperating.”
Suarez said they believe their goal can still be reached, but the recent cold and damp weather has stopped them from paving asphalt. To be able to do so, construction crews need temperatures to be at least in the upper forties and for conditions to be dry. After rain, snow or sleet has dried up, it still takes a couple of days before they can pave again.
“When you get late into the season, we usually have some warmer temperatures around the week of Thanksgiving,” Suarez said. “This year we have not had that. At this point, we’re still in a holding pattern because of the cold temperature. Winter came a little bit early this year.”
In the meantime, they’re focusing on other work, such as pouring concrete and wiring light fixtures. No matter what work ends up getting done, crews will close down for the construction season on December 22.
Those wanting to stay informed about the four lane expansion can visit the city’s Dupont Rd. construction website.
“We’ll keep updating that page every week,” Suarez said. “Certainly we can’t predict the weather. So we have to just keep watching and keep seeing what we can get accomplished.”
The Dupont Rd. enhancements include expanding the road to four lanes with a turn lane, where needed, adding a sidewalk on the north side of the road and a trail on the south side of the road.
A pedestrian/bicycle crossing, under the road, will connect the Pufferbelly Trail from Salomon Farm Park to the existing trail north of Dupont Rd. Currently, there is no pedestrian infrastructure on Dupont.
The project, which addresses safety and congestion, will take place over two construction seasons with completion coming in 2019.
Up to 25,000 vehicles used this stretch of Dupont Rd. each day.