Mechanic Street upgrades include work from end to end

LACONIA — Improvements to both ends of Mechanic Street, which assistant director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) Luke Powell called "one of the worst in the city," are anticipated to be complete by the end of October, weather permitting.

At the southern end of the street, the curve that carries the roadway northward, off of Union Ave., has been redesigned to afford greater visibility to drivers traveling in both directions. The project was undertaken by Cantin Chevrolet, which purchased the property on the corner, demolished the Victorian home and added 7,000-square-feet to its display area. In the process, the company is lining the roadway with granite curbing and a landscaped buffer 17 feet deep.

Meanwhile, Busby Construction Co. Inc., under the direction of DPW, has begun reclaiming and rebuilding the northern section of Mechanic Street that runs from Clinton Street to Stark Street. Major improvements to the sewer and drainage system are underway and nearing completion.

Powell said that an undersized stone culvert, which has carried stormwater for a century, which stretches some 300 feet — beginning on Manchester Street and running along Mechanic Street to Clinton Street — has been has been replaced with a 36-inch polyethylene line reinforced with steel bands. He explained that some sections of the line can only be buried to a depth of about a foot, instead of the usual two feet or more, and must be reinforced to bear the weight of traffic. In addition, a section of sanitary sewer at the steepest stretch of Mechanic Street has been relined and a number of catch basins and manholes along the street have been replaced.

Powell expects the drainage work to be completed in the next two weeks, after which the reclamation and reconstruction of Mechanic Street will begin. He said that weather permitting the roadway will be rebuilt and paved by the end of October.