Construction is expected to get underway this week on River Street in Rumford in the final phase of a three-year project to improve The Island business district. The street will be milled and shimmed and new curbing added in front of Morency Park seen at right. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Work is expected to begin this week on River Street in the final phase of the three-year project to improve water, sewer, sidewalks and lighting in the downtown business district.

Selectmen approved a change order Thursday to have both sides of the street milled to eliminate a crown.

Town Manager Stacy Carter said Friday that All-State Construction of Farmington, Connecticut, requested the change. Bid specifications were to mill just one side to lower costs, he said.

“But when they saw the crown in the road, they felt it would be a much better product if they milled the entire thing and did a shim,” Carter said. “We want to do the project right so it looks like a completed project.”

The change order includes milling both sides, shimming the street to get the right crown and adding curbing in front of Morency Park.

The extra $46,628 will come from the permanent roads account, he said.

The second and final phase of the multi-million-dollar project was approved by selectmen March 4. It includes paving and curbing on River Street, adding a small section of sidewalk by Franklin Savings Bank on River Street and putting two light posts in Morency Park. Also, traffic signal wires will be added on Bridge Street so the signal functions again on vehicle motion, and the crosswalk by United Insurance will be fixed to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act specifications.

Work on The Island business district began in 2018 with replacing water and sewer lines and took longer than expected due to excess rock and ledge, and underground vaults. Construction was postponed in 2019 while voters passed a $2.9 million bond to cover cost overruns and resumed in the spring of 2020, completing the first phase.

The total cost of the project was estimated at $7.1 million a year ago.

In other business at Thursday’s meeting, the board approved the sole bid of $31,083 from MTE Equipment Solutions of Derry, New Hampshire, for a new mower for the Parks Department.

Following an executive session on labor negotiations, the board voted 5-0 to issue a memorandum of agreement with the public works union, changing the residency requirement from 15 miles to 45 minutes from town “so that we can attract the most qualified person when there’s an opening,” Carter said. He said it’s consistent with the police and fire contracts.


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