If the nighttime resurfacing project beginning Monday on westbound U.S. 52 isn’t enough of a headache for Portsmouth residents, then the city’s upgrades to the 30-inch water main that runs underneath Offnere Street may put them over the edge.
To be sure, both projects are necessary and are expected to improve the community, but any associated inconveniences are expected to be around for the next three weeks.
Both projects are scheduled to begin Monday, and when one project ends for the day, the other one starts. The resurfacing project is a nighttime project from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m., while the water main project is during the day.
Several road closures are associated with both projects. The resurfacing project is curb to curb on U.S. 52 from Walmart to U.S. 23 (Chillicothe Street), and the water main project will be centered at, but not necessarily limited to, Offnere Street and Robinson Avenue. A temporary stop sign will be installed at the Offnere/Robinson intersection for southbound traffic, and drivers should avoid the area and use alternate routes.
According to Portsmouth Police Chief Robert K. Ware II in a letter hand delivered to the affected residents and business owners, city crews will work 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. In the event of inclement weather, work may be performed on Fridays. The anticipated completion date of this phase is June 22.
“Undoubtedly, the work will cause inconvenience to you and/or your visitors,” Ware wrote in the letter. “It is our hopes that the inconvenience will be lessened by the efforts that have taken place to alleviate anticipated disruption to traffic patterns, both vehicular and pedestrian.”
To facilitate “the safe and expeditious completion of work,” a number of traffic changes will be implemented. Beginning Monday morning, the following closures or changes to the traffic pattern will take place:
— Northbound Offnere Street traffic lanes, parking lanes and some sidewalks between U.S. 52 (12th Street) and Kinneys Lane will be closed to all traffic.
— Southbound Offnere Street sidewalks, parking lanes and traffic lanes will remain open.
— Southbound Offnere Street traffic will be required to stop at the intersection with Robinson Avenue.
— Grant Street between Lincoln Street and Offnere Street will be closed to vehicle thru-traffic (local traffic only).
—Robinson Avenue between Lincoln Street and Offnere Street will be closed to thu-traffic (local traffic only).
— The Offnere Street entrances to Greenlawn Cemetery will be closed during this time period.
“We are working diligently with contractors and city officials to minimize the disruption and inconvenience to you and your neighbors. While we have anticipated needs and concerns, we may have missed something and welcome your feedback should you discover that we may have overlooked a concern. In that case, please reach out to my office and we will attempt to address the issue,” Ware says.