Streetscape project moves forward after delay

Deziel Paving and Construction employee Thomas Lane checks the asphalt on the streetscape in Beacon Falls last Friday after his co-worker Rob Savoy used a steam roller to flatten it. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The town’s streetscape project took another step forward last Friday with the laying of the asphalt.

The asphalt was supposed to have been laid earlier, but the town ran into uncontrollable setbacks.

“What’s been holding the whole project up is we had a mild winter and, all of a sudden, we’ve had this wet spring. Even though the asphalt plants are open … the asphalt needs to be [Department of Transportation] approved, and they don’t run tests on DOT asphalt until two weeks after the plants are open,” Smith said during a Board of Selectmen meeting on May 14.

Smith explained the state regulations say the weather has to be dry and above a certain humidity level for a specific length of time before the pavement can be laid.

There was also a problem with knotweed plants.

Knotweed is an invasive species of plant that grows quickly and is difficult to remove. If the entire root system is not removed and destroyed, the plant will survive and come back.

The plants needed to be removed before the town could move forward with the paving.

Even though there have been delays in the paving, the town was able to move forward with the streetscape project in other areas.

“The [Americans with Disabilities Act] curbs are in, the ADA lights are in, the drainage is done, the lights are ordered, that guard rail is being leveled off, and they’re back to work,” Smith said during the board meeting.

As of last Friday, Deziel Paving and Construction was laying the second and final layer of asphalt on the streetscape project.

Next, the top soil and brick pavers will be installed. After the soil is in place and the brick pavers are all laid, the streetscape project will be nearly complete.

Smith said it will take approximately 30 days for the liabilities to be turned over from the contractor to the town. During that time, citizens will be unable to use the streetscape.