By MADELINE HUGHES
Since the final bell rang signaling summer vacation at Shelburne Community School, the contractors from S.D. Ireland have been busy working along Harbor Road, which remains torn up between the intersection with U.S. Route 7 to Turtle Lane.
Workers have been replacing sewer lines and manholes all summer and the project is on schedule to be finished by the time school is back in session on August 29.
“We wrote it into contract that it would be done before school starts,” said Chris Robinson, Shelburne water quality superintendent. “The first day school was out, they were starting to dig.”
Timing the project was key since that stretch of road easily becomes congested with school traffic each weekday morning and afternoon.
“We are replacing old clay lines that were installed in the 1950s and have reached the end of their useful life,” Robinson said. “These lines have been planned to be replaced for nearly a decade and are shown in the Town’s Capital Plan.”
Robinson said that the sewer lines and manholes have all been replaced. Workers now are tying in the services to residences and filling up old manholes.
Next, the sidewalk and curb between the railroad and Athletic Drive will be replaced. Other sidewalk and curb sections on either side of that area will remain intact, he explained.
Once all of that is complete, the highway maintenance crew will repave the road.
Pending approval from town engineers, Robinson said crews will move on to the next phase of the work focusing on sewer line replacement near the intersection of Falls, Marsett and Mount Philo Roads starting Monday. Then crews will do night work on Falls Road near Shelburne Country Store on August 19.
This work was approved in 2016 with a $3 million bond for water and sewer infrastructure improvements. This summer’s work accounts for $2 million of that spending that the town received through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. That fund allows for a low-interest loan, which the Wastewater Department, funded by users, will pay back over 20 years.
Robinson said he thanks customers and motorists for supporting the project and bearing with the disruptions. “It will get better,” he said.
Update: This story was updated with Chris Robinson’s correct title.