Nearly 2,000 feet of road is being widened as part of the project.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- Motorists weary of negotiating orange barrels and one-lane traffic on the city's east side will get relief in a few weeks.
Crews working on a nearly $1.2-million project to improve safety and traffic flow on East State Street where it passes over Millville Hill will finish near the end of the month, city Service Director Joe Julian said.
"It has gone real well. The weather has cooperated with us," Julian said of the project, which began in the spring.
Since then, workers have gouged about 14 feet from the top of the hill and are now replacing that section of road with a wider one that contains turning lanes.
Widening will affect nearly 2,000 feet of East State Street from the top of the hill to just east of Cunningham Road.
The project was undertaken to relieve congestion and reduce accidents in the area, part of the city's commercial district. The hill blocked motorists' view as they exited businesses along East State Street, contributing to crashes.
The addition of a turning lane is expected to facilitate traffic flow through the area.
The commercial district there has always been busy, and the opening later this year of a Wal-Mart east of Cunningham Road is expected to bring more traffic into the area. When the store opens, a traffic light will be installed at East State and Cunningham, Julian said.
Not only is the project expected to be finished on time, it also should come in near its budget, Julian said. Kirila Contractors of Brookfield is doing the work. The company bid $1,188,775.
The state is putting up about $765,000 for its share of the project. The city is paying the rest from its capital improvements fund.