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North Avenue Subjected to Road Paving

Most recent map of the construction project. l Distributed to teachers by John Dodig

Dana Rappaport ’11
Web Managing Editor

Typical weekday mornings on North Avenue are known for bumper to bumper up until Staples’ 7:30 a.m. start time. However, since the commencement of North Avenue’s road paving project on Oct. 25 the traffic has increased.

Construction begins around 7:00 a.m. each day — the same time Staples students and staff are en route to Staples.

As a result, many students have been forced to change their morning routine so they can to school on time.

“The construction has really thrown off my entire morning routine. I have to wake up earlier in order to leave fifteen minutes earlier so that my brother and I can arrive to school on time,” Morgan Goldberg ’11 said.

Tierney Bannon ’11 agrees that the morning traffic is a nuisance, but she believes that the traffic in the afternoon is even worse.

“I was stopped in traffic for about ten minutes because there was a large amount of cars being directed to leave school were not able to get down North Avenue due to the detour because of the paving North Avenue became a one-way road” Bannon said.

Other students do not mind the traffic as much.

“Although I have bottomed out umpteen times, I don’t mind [the traffic] much,” George Birch ’11 said.

Yet whether the extra traffic as affected their schedule or not, many students have become frustrated with the construction’s presence.

“The roads were perfectly fine, and they should use the money towards something else, like education,” Bannon said.

However the money for the roadwork is federally funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and must be used for specific purposes — such as improving infrastructure.

According to — the Act’s official website — the Recovery Act is a “direct response to the economic crisis.” Passed by Congress on Feb. 13 2009, the act attempts to “create new jobs,” “spur economic activity,” and  “foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending.”

In relation to the roadwork in Westport, said that the project “involving infrastructure improvements, are expected to contribute to economic growth for many years.” 

The current North Avenue $1.2 million project is phase two of Westport’s work funded by the ARRA. Phase one was another paving project conducted earlier in the year.

“The reason that the work is being conducted now is because the funds just became available” said Stephen Edwards, the Town of Westport’s Director of Public Works.

Edwards added that funds were released in September “with the intent that the work would be completed before the end of the year.”

Phase two involves paving roads in Westport, however, the construction on North Avenue will not last until December.

Edwards said the reason the construction resumes each morning at 7:00 a.m. is to get the project done in a quick manner.

“The intent is to get as much work done in a given effort as possible […] Shorten the day and you increase the number of days which decreased the overall efficiency and extends the project out for a longer period,” Edwards said.

A post on estimated that the roadwork would be completed by the end of November.

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