Progress on Somerset

It seemed for a while that Somerset, running up from Preston, would never get finished. Would Chinatown be left with craters and a war zone all winter?

Deadlines seem to have focussed the contractor’s mind. On Thursday, curbs were laid east of Preston, and by Friday the road base was largely in place. Can the paving crews be far behind?

Alas, the sidewalks and landscaping will not be installed this year, that will have to wait for spring.

Provided the contractor can assign a crew to do it.

3 thoughts on “Progress on Somerset

  1. So you are suggesting that the roadway is being rushed, but the sidewalks will have to wait until next year. Isn’t that counter to the City’s ‘Pedestrians First’ principle.

    I suspect that the contract specifies that the roadway must be ‘sealed’ before winter so that the plows don’t dig up the road bed. There will probably be only one layer of asphalt put down with the final layer waiting for spring. Given the slope, there will likely also be a temporary layer of asphalt laid down for the sidewalk before winter to prevent excessive erosion.

  2. I think we can all agree that most decisions are counter to the “pedestrian first” ideal. I have to say, I’ll be happy when Somerset is open again to traffic, Gladstone has been so busy since it closed.

  3. Folks, let’s not see insults to pedestrians where the don’t exist. Just as with all other road projects, the pavers on the sidewalks are the last to be installed. This is a benefit to pedestrians, not a detriment.

    The alternatives include:
    – A plain concrete sidewalk instead of a decorative one with pavers
    – Putting the pavers in earlier in the project so heavy machinery can mess them up and disrupt them as they work at the other parts of the work
    – Putting the pavers in while it’s very cold, resulting in likely settling problems once things thaw out

    In the interim, the sidewalks will be paved with asphalt, and as Richard suggests, the top layer of asphalt won’t go down until next year either.

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