2015-07-09 / Opinion

Clock Keeps Ticking on Revamp

EDITORIAL

That tick-tock sound you hear is the clock that never lies as it tracks progress on the first 600-foot section of Broadway reconstruction, from Farewell Street/Courthouse Way to City Hall.

By our count, using May 25 as the date that work began on this section, we are at 45 days as of July 9, the publication date for this week’s issue of Newport This Week.

We bring this to our readers’ attention, not to be unnecessarily pessimistic, or critical–or any other negative connotation you the reader might be tempted to infer from this editorial. But, we would like to think that this first segment will set a prime example of efficiency and timeliness for the rest of the project.

So, by our count at least, there are only 15 days left to meet the construction goal for section one. That means that if everything is progressing on time, just a little more than two weeks remain before said section will be completed.

The road sub-base has been laid, the paving is imminent and with that the cones may be removed soon and the new traffic pattern near the Colony House can begin. The crosswalk area at Marlborough is cordoned off and cars have to make a sharper angle to turn.

Pavement cuts have already been made near City Hall as they prepare for the next segment going north.

No one wants the Broadway reconstruction project to succeed in every way more than we do. After all, this project promises to breathe new life, visually as well as psychologically, into one of Newport’s most important thoroughfares.

Here at the paper, we often hear people lament, “Those poor restaurants and businesses, how can they survive this?” Our answer to that is, go to one of the pubs and have a beer or a drink and eat. They will survive as long as residents take the extra initiative to show their support by patronizing their establishments.

By the end of 2015, the project is supposed to have reached as far north as Equality Park. Then, work will jump to the opposite, or west, side of Broadway and move back in a southerly direction in more 600- foot increments.

The Broadway Streetscape Project, as it is formally known, involves a $5.8 million contract with the Cardi Corporation to resurface the roadway and upgrade pedestrian facilities. The blueprint used Complete Streets principles which, by law, must give equal consideration to the well-being of motor vehicles, bicyclists, public transportation and pedestrians.

With all the digging and detours, this may be difficult to envision. However, upgrades will include sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting and landscaping, stretching from Farewell Street to Equality Park.

There is everything to like about this project. We certainly like the way the streetscape plan depicts how the “new” Broadway will appear when the job is done in the fall of 2016.

Yes, we are rooting for the project to be finished on time. Until then, we will also be paying attention to (and providing updates on) its progress as measured by stated objectives.

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