Town officials shepherd Pepper Street reconstruction toward completion amid delays

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Monroe Town Hall is at 7 Fan Hill Road in Monroe. Photo by John Babina

MONROE, CT — Extensive utility work, supply chain issues and staffing challenges are delaying the Pepper Street reconstruction project, according to First Selectman Ken Kellogg.

In his update to the Town Council Monday night, Kellogg said the $7 million project, which is 90-percent funded by the state and federal government, involves an “extensive number of overhead and underground utilities that require relocation.”

“While utility companies are included in the project planning and scheduling, they are not bound by the project schedule,” he said. “Furthermore, some delays are also due to unforeseen underground conditions, pandemic-related supply chain issues and staffing challenges.”

“Town staff and I have had considerable, ongoing communications with these utility companies, project contractors, as well as the Connecticut Department of Transportation, in order to move the project forward,” Kellogg added.

He said the town received a commitment to focus and “catch up” on utility work over this past summer. “At this time, over 90 percent of the utility relocations are now complete,” Kellogg said.

On Monday, the first selectman met with the project team with the focus on making as much progress as possible before the winter. Significant roadwork and drainage improvements will resume the week of Oct. 4, according to Kellogg.

This will involve excavating and road widening to the new design and installation of new gravel, a base course of pavement and new curbing.

“This will also necessitate some lane shifting during construction,” Kellogg said. “Expect travel delays through this area, as there will be sections of roadway that, once milled, will be temporarily gravel for up to a few weeks while work progresses.”

Kellogg said these sections of the road currently under construction will have a base course of pavement completed prior to the winter season. The balance of the road reconstruction, completion of the section of the multi-use trail, as well as the final top course of pavement, is currently projected for the spring of 2022.

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