Starting Monday, South Main St. traffic will be affected by water & sewer project

LACONIA — Work will begin in earnest on Monday on a sanitary sewer and water main upgrade on South Main Street which will bring alternating one-lane traffic to area until late May.
The affected area runs from Sunflower Natural Foods to just past the Pine Street-Bowman Street area on South Main Street.
Laconia Public Works Director Paul Moynihan says that the first phase of the project will see new water lines installed by the city Works Department and that phase will run from Monday, March 25 through Friday, April 5.
Sewer line work will start on April 8 and is expected to be completed on May 24, just before Memorial Day weekend.
He said that a traffic control plan has been developed which will have traffic control personnel in place and that every effort will be made to provide access to businesses throughout the construction period, including the placement of signs indicating "Access to Businesses Open".
Moynihan said that during critical phases of construction, the lowest ends of Pine St. and Bowman St. will be closed for periods of time.
Some of the businesses in the area will have temporary water lines and on Thursday night both Vista Foods and Dunkin Donuts will be without water from 7 p.m. to 4-5 a.m. on Friday as the water lines are replaced.
The sewer project will replace clay sewer lines which date back to the 1890s and have been a problem for at least the last 10 years due to misaligned joints and small cracks which are allowing groundwater infiltration of the system.
Moynihan said the biggest area of concern to the DPW in recent years has been the poor performance of a sewer siphon that loops under a sizable drainage box culvert at the intersection of Pine Street and South Main Street, where clogs have occurred and evidence of broken clay pipes have being found during pipe cleaning efforts.
''We worked with consulting engineers and found that there was room enough at the top of the box culvert so that we could put the new line right through that area without having to go underneath the culvert again,'' said Moynihan.
He said that the pavement in the project area will be ground up and reclaimed all the way from the Bowman Street area up to Melcher and Prescott and that the road will be repaved by the end of May, with another layer of asphalt scheduled to be put down in the fall. Sidewalks will also be upgraded and granite curbing installed during the final phase of the project.