TORRINGTON – A $1.8 million overhaul of Torrington’s fast food row is set to begin Monday morning.
According to city project engineer Mark Weis, Dietzler Construction – who was awarded the contract for the job last month – will begin work to replace the frontage road that runs parallel to US 26 next week. The project will begin on the east end of the road immediately south of First State Bank.
“They’re going to be starting with the grading, then moving on to the water and then the concrete,” Weis said. “They will be progressing east to west. They’re going to be doing everything they can to keep access open to all businesses. They’ve got a plan, and everyone will have access to everything.”
The project will replace the existing pothole-ridden asphalt with concrete, and add curb, sidewalk and gutter to the north side of the street. There will be a seven-foot gravel shoulder on the south side, and the drainage ditches between the frontage road and US 26 will be regraded.
“We have a lot of pedestrians that are walking on it and it’s not safe,” Weis said. “The new frontage road will have curb, gutter and sidewalk on the north side and it will tie into the sidewalk underneath the underpass. The new street surfacing will be all concrete, so it’s going to have a lot better durability.
“The borrow pits will be regraded for proper drainage. It’s so flat, water just sits. That’s one of the reasons why the road has gotten so deteriorated. We just don’t have any drainage, and this project will address all of those factors in one shot.”
Weis said the project is expected to wrap up in October.
“This is going to be an all-summer project,” he said.
The project was approved 4-0 by the Torrington City Council in April. It will also include a new water main along the route. At that meeting, city engineer Jeff Harkins said the project will bring the street into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well.
“This project has two main components – street construction and water line replacement,” Harkins told the council. “The street construction will replace the existing asphalt with a new concrete street with a gravel shoulder on the south side and add curb, gutter, sidewalks and ADA ramps to the north side of the street to improve pedestrian travel.
“The waterline replacement will replace an existing eight-inch water main with a 10-inch PVC water main.”
Benchmark Engineer Rachelle Anderson, who is overseeing the project, told the council the project will make the road more sustainable and safer.
“The shoulder will be seven feet wide, so it will allow cars to get a little bit out of the way,” she said. “One of the other main reasons for that is for the drainage because that street is very flat and it doesn’t drain well. This will allow the water to flow over into the ditch between the frontage road and the highway. We’re going to regrade that ditch. It will get a little steeper on the sides. It will be a flat bottom ditch to allow the water to drain from Family Dollar all of the way down to the truck stop.”
The plan will also open the frontage road in front of Transwest Ford.
“The street will continue all of the way through,” Anderson said.