Kelly Street ‘coming along,’ despite rain, surprises

Improvements along Kelly Street are taking shape as sidewalks are being widened and bike paths added.

Work along Kelly Street is well on its way, and city engineers say the project is taking shape beautifully. “It’s really starting to look good now,” said Joe Bodi, an engineer from the city’s public services department. “You look out there now and you’ll almost be able to see what the finished product is going to look like.” The Kelly Street project is part of the city’s 5-year capital improvement plan, and when finished, will include 10-foot-wide sidewalks, 4-foot bike lanes on both sides of the road, stormwater improvements and the resurfacing of the roadway. Looking at the improvements, Mayor Sam Seevers said that at the end of the day, one of the biggest concerns along Kelly Street was the safety of pedestrians due to the proximity of the elementary school. “The children walking back and forth, the wider sidewalks will make it safer for them,” she said. “That’s really what’s important here.” As with any project, whether it’s Mountain Drive or the harbor boardwalk, crews came across a few surprises as they began to tear up portions of the roadway. “We found a few items we didn’t know were underground,” Bodi said. “There were some private sewer systems that we came across.” In addition to the surprises, work crews have also had to fight with rain that has delayed progress, Bodi said.  So far, there have been 18 rain days. Traffic along Kelly Street is also something crews have to work around, since they cannot close the busy roadway to work. Lane closures are expected during the project, but the city says impacts for motorists will be a “minimum.” The Kelly Street project is expected to wrap up mid-November. “It’s been a little slow going, but all-in-all, it’s really coming along,” Bodi said. “We’re not out there to make things worse for people, we are out there to make things better.”