By Mac Cerullo Staff Writer
Newburyport Daily News
---- — AMESBURY — As part of its ongoing effort to improve the quality of city roads, the Department of Public Works will begin repaving 16 streets across the community starting tomorrow.
Rob Desmarais, director of public works, said the roads scheduled for repaving are California, Cross, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Oakwood, Pine, Portsmouth and Rosedale streets; Fern Avenue West, Lincoln and Ellis courts, Lindbergh Avenue, Linwood Place and Clarks Road.
Paving will start tomorrow and continue through Friday. Desmarais said there will be no construction over the weekend, but if the contractor can’t finish all the roads by Friday, work would recommence on Monday and continue until all the roads have been repaved.
“They think they can get it done in two days, but they might have to come back on Monday,” Desmarais said.
Residents living on the affected roads are reminded not to park on the street while construction crews are present and those driving through the area should seek alternate routes. There will be limited access to the roads while crews are working, and the roads will be closed entirely for about two hours after the work is complete so the asphalt can cool off, according to the DPW.
The repaving plan was announced in February when Mayor Thatcher Kezer asked the City Council to use $200,000 in free cash to fix up some of the city’s long-neglected roads. Much of the free cash was available as a result of health care savings generated by an agreement reached with the city’s workers.
The first phase of the plan was completed in July with the repaving of 19 roads.
Residents have complained for years about the quality of Amesbury’s roads, some of which haven’t been touched in decades. But because many of the roads in question are private roads, Desmarais said, state funding can’t be used to fix them, limiting the city’s ability to address the deterioration.
Kezer promised during his election campaign last fall to make a substantial investment in repaving roads and fixing sidewalks. Since then, more than $500,000 in free cash, state funds and federal Community Development Block Grant money has been used for street and sidewalk repair.
The current round of repaving comes as work on the Route 110 widening project winds down. The road was repaved earlier this month. According to Kezer, the only task remaining is to repaint the lines on the road and complete some finishing touches before the $5.9 million state project is officially complete.
Residents who have questions about the repaving projects or would like further information should call the DPW office at 978-388-8116.