Yarmouth prepares for Hillside Street improvements

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YARMOUTH — The town is finalizing the design for reconstruction of the Hillside and Cumberland street corridors. 

The $2 million project – which includes reconstruction of the roadway, drainage, and sidewalk infrastructure on Cumberland Street from Hillside Street to West Elm Street – is being financed by a bond issue town voters approved at the annual Town Meeting June 6.

On Jan. 9, 2018, town staff and a consultant from Wright-Pierce Engineering will lead a public discussion on final design plans, and the construction schedule and impacts.

Construction is expected to begin in late April, depending on weather and road conditions. The majority of work is expected to be finished by the end of the 2018 construction season. Final surface paving is slated for the late spring of 2019, according to the town website.

Town Engineer Steven Johnson said on Dec. 22 that the construction is necessary because Hillside Street is frequently traveled by pedestrians and bicyclists, with direct access to the Middle School.

According to a preliminary design report drafted in April 2014 by Wright-Pierce, the town had already been planning to repave Hillside Street and install improved drainage features along the roadway because of known drainage issues.

An initial public meeting was held on Oct. 23, 2014. Wright-Pierce and Town Planning Urban Design Collaborative led meetings with abutters, the Bike and Pedestrian Committee, Public Safety, school officials, and town staff. 

About 30 people attended the meeting. Attendees asked that a sidewalk be installed on the south side of Hillside Street, vehicle speed be addressed, bicycle amenities be included, private property impacts be minimized, and trees and landscaping be incorporated into the plan. 

Public forums continued and, most recently in October, residents were invited back to a meeting with town staff to offer additional feedback on the final design, which was developed over the past three years.  

“Much of your insight has been incorporated into the design,” Town Engineer Steve Johnson said in a Dec. 14 memo to residents.

The Jan. 9 meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. 

“Now, we just want to hear from residents again to see if there’s anything we’ve forgotten or left out before getting to work,” Johnson said Dec. 22. 

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

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