RIDOT Predicts September Completion for Tiogue Ave. Construction
The $3.4 million project has turned much of the town's shopping district into a traffic headache.
According to RIDOT Chief of Information and Public Relations Charles St. Martin, the resurfacing project on Rt. 3 will likely continue into September, although the worst is said to be almost over.
"This is the worst part right now because we're right in the meat of it," said St. Martin. "We have to dig the payment all the way down before we can start building it back up."
St. Martin acknowledged that the recent wet weather only exacerbated the situation.
"We got those heavy rains the day after we dug the road up and as soon as they came, the water had no place to go and washed out."
By the end of this week (depending on weather), the majority of the first road layer - a base asphalt driving surface will be in place, although there may still be some raised manhole and utility covers that drivers should be cautious of.
"From CVS to South Main Street, the base of the road was very poor from a number of areas settling and utility cuts that had been made over the years," he explained. "It required much more aggressive resurfacing to help restore the road. If we didn't do that, it wouldn't hold up and would fall apart again."
Repaving efforts began around 8 p.m. on Sunday night and are scheduled through about 7 a.m. Monday. Work to grate the gravel surface before paving will have to be done during the day. The intersections at South Main St., Sandy Bottom and Arnold roads will be cold planed and resurfaced as well.
Another 900 ft. section of roadway, from the Sandy Bottom Rd./Tiogue Ave. intersection to just before the Pawtuxet River bridge may be worked on in late June (the schedule is yet to be determined).
"The base of that section is also in need of repair that a simple resurfacing won't fix," said St. Martin. "A lot of sewer work that has been done recently and other work done over the years has led to the failing base of the road."
St. Martin, a Coventry resident himself, is aware that the work is troublesome to many drivers but insists that it must be done.
"We apologize for the inconvenience that we're causing people but we're trying to get through the worst part of it as soon as we can."