Watertown continues planning for Burlington Street project

Sep. 18—WATERTOWN — Burlington Street residents want to see Burlington Street turned into a one-way street as the city continues to plan for a road reconstruction project next year.

An open house was held a couple of weeks ago for residents to find out more about the project.

About 10 of the 16 property owners attended the session. The majority of them are in favor of a one-way street, according to Aubertine & Currier, the engineering firm designing the project.

The project was discussed on Thursday morning during an Advantage Watertown meeting.

"If you drive down that street, you can see why this project is important to residents," said Rob Aiken, an engineer with Aubertine & Currier.

Burlington Street is a hilly street with curbing on one side higher than the other. Motorists are unable to drive down the icy street in the winter because many end up sliding into a yard, said Matt Morgia, another Aubertine & Currier engineer.

The project consists of total reconstruction of the street and installing new sidewalks, curbing, utilities, sewers and sidewalk ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Turning Burlington Street into a one-way street is one of three options that the engineering firm is looking at for the project.

The firm also is considering modest changes to the existing street while maintaining the two-way traffic pattern,

The other is keeping it a two-way street with on-street parking.

The firm will recommend an option to the city.

Members of Advantage Watertown, a group of business and community leaders who meet monthly to talk about city issues, recounted stories about driving down the hilly street.

"They're great plans," said Advantage Watertown chair Jason White.

The design of the project will be completed this fall, bids are to go out over the winter, and construction is slated to begin in the spring.

Funding for the project will come from $275,000 in Community Development Block money, American Rescue Plan Act funds for the design and the remainder from bonding.

The engineering firm LaBella Associates, Rochester, also is involved in designing the project.