Next phase of Main Street project set to begin soon

by Bill Nachman - Posted on May 25, 2011 - 06:24 PM

Motorists traveling through Gloucester Court House should be alert for a new traffic pattern near the court circle beginning in early June.

The fifth phase of the Gloucester Main Street Enhancement Project is scheduled to begin soon and could run until January 2012, public works director Garrey Curry said Monday. The project will include new sidewalk, crosswalks, and placement of utility lines underground on Main Street from the court circle to Justice Drive.

Also, the project will include a makeover of the Justice Drive intersection with Main Street, he said, and will eliminate the constant scraping of vehicle bottoms at that intersection.

Curry wanted to get the word out before the project begins about plans to shift regular traffic through that section of the village. Under current plans, all northbound (heading from Main Street toward Riverside Walter Reed Hospital) traffic will continue to go around the circle. However, during a portion of the work, the northbound traffic will be switched to the southbound lane of the circle (toward the Route 17/14 traffic signal) while the northbound lane of the circle will be shut down for repairs.

Meanwhile, all southbound traffic will be redirected through nearby residential streets for a distance of several blocks. Curry said that cars and trucks heading southbound will have to turn off Main Street onto Cary Avenue for one block, then turn left onto South Street for about three blocks, and then return to Main Street after traveling one block on Martin Street near the Morgan Building.

The county is working closely with the contractor to be sure the detour is clearly marked, Curry said. At this time, no additional lights are planned for the detour.

Because of a lack of funds, the proposed fifth phase of the Main Street project does not include money for landscaping, Curry said. Landscaping may be addressed at a later time, he said, and donations may be sought to pay for them.

Harbor Dredge & Dock of Richmond was selected as the contractor for the project. Curry said the contract award was for $690,000, with Gloucester to be reimbursed for 80 percent of the project cost through state-administered federal funds.

Curry said Harbor Dredge was awarded a 230-day contract, from when the project begins. That company was selected as the lowest and most responsive bidder of the seven bids received.

No southbound truck traffic (other than light pickups) will be allowed through the work zone during the construction period, Curry said. Trucks heading southbound through the village can stay on Route 17 Bypass and turn left by Fox Mill Center and then head northbound toward the village.

Curry suggested that drivers might consider not traveling through the work zone if they can take alternate routes.

The Main Street Enhancement Project began in 1999, starting near the court circle and being completed in four phases down to the 17/14 intersection.