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Plan to Start Road Work in Watertown Early May Hit Detour

Town Manager Michael Driscoll warned that there are some hurdles to clear before work can begin in the spring, rather than the fall.

Efforts to start road repairs earlier this year may have to take a detour, Town Manager Michael Driscoll told the Town Council Tuesday night.

The council’s Public Works Committee recommended a new schedule for road repair projects that includes starting construction in April. The new timeline would avoid starting work in September and October, as it did in 2012, said Councilor Cecilia Lenk, chairwoman of the Public Works Committee.

Driscoll said that the work could not start as early as called for on the schedule.

“We are not going to be able to have the schedule in place by the summer of 2013,” Driscoll said.

Lenk said she recognized that the schedule is already behind, but said the work should start as soon as possible.

“The committee felt we really need to have things move faster,” Lenk said. “I understand your concerns, and I share them. The schedule will need to be adjusted — we already missed some deadlines.”

The timeline is not the only problem, Driscoll said, the money also must be found in the town budget.

“Monies for road projects to be done in calendar year 2013 have already been borrowed,” Driscoll said. “I am not sure we would be ale to do additional borrowing to get the shovel in the ground by April.”

Town Councilor Vincent Piccirilli, also a member of the Public Works Committee, said he would rather see work start this year in May or June than in September and October as it did in 2012.

The early start could also help Watertown find the best companies to do the work, said Town Council President Mark Sideris.

“We want to move to begin work in the spring, when all the other towns around us start work,” Sideris said. “We seem to get contractors to don’t have work in other towns.”

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