MassDOT: longterm closure of Padanaram Causeway starts August 1
The $8.2 million Padanaram Causeway Rehabilitation project is facing another scheduling shift. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced on July 25 that a full-time closure will go into effect starting August 1, 2016.
Once closed, the causeway will not open again until the project is done. The finish date is currently projected for June 2018.
The construction—originally scheduled to begin July 6—includes rebuilding stone walls and railings, drainage improvements, and adding two small culverts, according to MassDOT.
Department of Public Works Director David Hickox, speaking to the Select Board on July 25, said this project has been a long time coming. Initiated in 2000 by the town, the project took 14 years to review, said Hickox, explaining that the project was labeled low-priority for regional, state, and federal monies. “These projects don’t compete with projects like Faunce Corner Road.”
Select Board member Shawn McDonald expressed the importance of safety, following a gas main breakage related to the construction in late June.
“It’s a slap in the face to the safety of our residents,” said McDonald about the incident. “I just want to emphasize that the safety of our residents is very important.”
The Select Board requested minimum biweekly updates from Project Manager Paul Cappelletti of contracting company John Rocchio Corporation of Smithfield, Rhode Island, and from MassDOT representatives.
“If we don’t have answers, not only do we look dumb, but the resident still doesn’t have an answer,” said the Board’s Vice Chair Frank Gracie.
“We have to have consistent communication,” said McDonald. “This is a two-lane road that connects two important parts of the Town together.”
Between now and August 1, the current closure schedule—Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.—will remain effective, closing from the eastern edge of Apponagansett Park to the Padanaram Bridge, and Smith Neck Road from Gulf Road southerly 550 feet.