Bristol traffic detoured around Tanyard Brook project

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BRISTOL-While motorists at least can navigate one-way Hope Street through downtown, further south, Hope Street is closed off to traffic altogether.

This week, work on the actual culvert for Tanyard Brook began. For the past two weeks, crews were involved in preparation work, clearing space and relocating underground utility lines. As of Monday, police set up detour signs to divert traffic heading south around the area, using Union Street or High Street as an alternative route.

“We want to finish everything up on Hope Street so we can open it up to traffic,” said Mark Merrill, engineer with BETA.

The road closure could last up to three weeks, Mr. Merrill said, “in a worst case scenario.”

Once the culvert work is complete in the Hope Street section, Mr. Merrill expects the next section to go along quickly through the wooded portions of the project area.

“Once we get to the neighborhoods, it’ll slow down again,” he said.

While working on the outfall into Walkers Cove, sandbags and floating booms have been installed to prevent any contaminants from getting into Bristol harbor. Neighbors in the area, said Mr. Merrill, have been very understanding despite the necessary inconvenience.

Tanyard Brook has been a source of neighborhood flooding for nearly two decades. The clogged and collapsed culvert is susceptible to flooding during heavy rain events. The outfall into Walker’s Cove will be corrected with a tide gate to allow for the release of stormwater when necessary. Further up the brook, repairs and upgrades will increase the capacity of water it can handle. Phase one, at a cost of $3,577,147, will end at Garfield Avenue.

The project is funded by $2.9 million of federal money through the U.S. Economic Development Administration and a $1.1 million Community Development Block Grant. Northern Construction Service of Weymouth, Mass. is doing the construction work, with BETA Engineering overseeing the project.

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