DERRY — The rumbling sound of heavy machinery will soon be heard in Derry again as the second phase of a major water and sewer project begins later this month.
In about two weeks, the project is scheduled to start on Bypass 28 at Humphrey Road and proceed south to Webster’s Corner. The work is anticipated to end in August, according to officials.
But unlike the first phase of the project on Rockingham Road last year, full road closures with detours will not be required. In addition, motorists should anticipate only minor delays, officials said.
“The traffic impact will be far less because we won’t have a detour that will take people 2 miles out of the way,” Public Works Director Michael Fowler said.
In the first phase last year, crews replaced an aging culvert with a new bridge on the section of Rockingham Road. The project began in early September and concluded just before Thanksgiving, Fowler said.
Motorists experienced some substantial delays as a section of road was closed and detours were established. Traffic coming in and out of South Range Elementary School was also affected.
But work on the second phase will not require full road closures as there is room on the sides of the road for the installation of utilities to proceed, Fowler said.
The goal of the project is to have the bulk of the underground piping installed this year, Fowler said.
In July, work will then begin on a section of Route 28 from Webster’s Corner heading south to Berry Road. This phase will run until November, Fowler said.
Also in July, crews will begin work from where the first phase ended on Rockingham Road last year at Winter Hill Road. The work will run to the intersection at Webster’s Corner and end in October, Fowler said.
Town councilors seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach. Some said they are hopeful the project will provide a needed economic boost to the community. While others said they aren’t sure since the council was still discussing the zoning for the project as late as Tuesday night.
“It remains to be seen,” said Council Chairman Mark Osborne. “The fact that we are still talking about zoning as shovels go into the ground doesn’t make me feel very comfortable.”