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March 07. 2013 10:23PM

Nashua takes another step on sidewalk improvements

NASHUA - Funding for the latest round of sidewalk improvements along Main Street was approved by city officials this week.

Nearly $180,000 in work and materials for the major downtown renovation project was authorized by the aldermanic finance committee on Wednesday.

The total project - expected to last about three years - is estimated to cost $2 million, excluding labor by city workers. The purchase of granite landscaping beds for $12,000 was approved by the committee, which also approved a $38,791 contract for the purchase and installation of additional Main Street curbing.

The second round of Main Street lights and light poles, totaling about $129,000, was also authorized by the committee.

Most of the new work will be completed in the second block of Main Street, according to Mayor Donnalee Lozeau. The block extends from Park to Temple streets and from Water to Factory streets.

All of the mid-block crossings will be renovated, said Lozeau, adding the new curbing will cost the city about $33 per linear foot. The overall downtown improvement plan includes dozens of changes along Main Street.

In addition to replacing all of the sidewalks, city workers will correct drainage problems and install new street lights, mast arm mounted traffic signals, benches, trash containers and newspaper boxes.

Every tree along Main Street will be removed and then new trees will be planted with root barriers so they do not destroy the new sidewalks, according to organizers.

Major work began last summer in the first block of downtown where new sidewalks along both sides of the Main Street Bridge were installed.

More efficient lighting will be used downtown, and multipurpose light posts will be installed that provide street and sidewalk lighting on the same pole.

"We are really trying to get rid of those things that clutter," said Lozeau, adding flags will now be posted on street poles rather than the sidewalks to prevent thefts.

"Newspaper condos" will be installed that will house six different newspapers in one unit, which will remove additional clutter from the numerous honor boxes downtown, she said.

Every crosswalk will be easily accessible for wheelchair use, new bike racks will be installed, recycling bins will be added and new tree grates will be constructed.

khoughton@newstote.com

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