By WILLIAM PAINE
At an informational meeting held on Tuesday, the Town of Pulaski announced significant scheduling changes to the upcoming water line replacement project on Pulaski’s West Main Street.
The start date to begin construction on the water line project has been pushed to Monday December 5.
“We got the contractor to extend the starting date, so that the businesses on that street have the opportunity to have some additional sales around the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Pulaski Town Manager Darlene Burcham.
According to the new schedule, West Main Street between Washington and Jefferson Avenues will be officially closed to vehicular traffic on Wednesday, November 30. Between then and the following Monday, Dec. 5 when construction begins, the contractor will likely move some heavy equipment into place.
To help facilitate the parking needs of businesses and residents on West Main Street, the town will change some signs at three nearby parking lots.
The parking lot at the corner of Washington Avenue and 3rd Street will have a sign that reads “Mainstreet Parking” hung over what now reads “Courthouse Parking.” In addition, the two-hour time limit signs have been removed because that limit is no longer if effect.
“It’s always been public parking,” said Burcham. “What I understood from folks is that some people think they can’t park there.”
More signage will be added to indicate parking spots at Central Gym, as well as at the dozen public spaces off of East Main Street behind the Episcopal Church.
The town issued maps to businesses and residents of West Main Street to better illustrate the locations of these three parking areas (See Accompanying Map).
It is estimated that this project will take four months to complete but the contractor has agreed to schedule seven-day work weeks instead of the more common five-day work weeks to finish the job faster.
“If the contractor has staff that are willing to do it, he has agreed to work seven days a week to try to accelerate the project,” said Burcham. “He’s finishing up a job in Montgomery County and bringing that crew here. He’s as anxious as we are to get it done as soon as possible.”
Following a four-month completion schedule would bring the project to a finish in early April 2023, but if a seven-day work week was adopted, the water line project could be finished as soon as early-March of next year.
When the water line is completed, West Main Street as well as 3rd Street will be opened to two-way traffic, though at this point, West Main Street will have only a gravel surface.
The completion of the water line installation will clear the way for the Streetscape project, which will reconstruct the sidewalks, gutters and tree beds along that same stretch of West Main Street.
A start date for the Streetscape project, which is made possible by two VDOT grants totaling more than $1 million, has yet to be determined.
“As far as Streetscape is concerned, once we have a plan and we approve the plan, then we have to put it out for bid,” said Burcham. “Hopefully it comes in within budget. If not, we have to modify it and then allow for the construction. There is no schedule yet, as the project has not yet been put out for bid.”