Gas Line Replacement to Begin on Depot Road

HARWICH – Harwich drivers may be in for a frustrating few weeks on the road as National Grid has announced that they will be working on gas line replacement throughout the rest of the summer.

The utility company has informed town selectmen that they plan to conduct gas main replacement efforts on Depot Road as well as on a number of side streets through October.

The announcement follows extensive work that was conducted on Route 39, from the Queen Anne Road roundabout to Church Street this past spring leading to lengthy delays. Following that project National Grid had agreed to a summer-long moratorium on work in the area, but the company says that this work does not apply.

“The rest of the crews are going to kind of lie low in Harwich, beyond that, for the rest of the summer months,” National Grid’s Senior Project Manager Brad Wheeler told selectmen, “After Labor Day we will probably see probably see an increase in the number of crews coming to work, just based on the current resourcing that we’ve laid out. And we’ll hit some of the busier traveled routes kind of off season due to traffic concerns.”

The latest stage of the project calls for replacing another 1,800 to 2,000 feet of gas line and is due to be completed sometime after Labor Day. Work will include extensive excavation of certain roadways as was as both temporary and permanent restoration work which is likely to lead to road closures and traffic tie-ups.

In this instance, gas line mains will be installed from Route 28 to the end of Depot Road and to the roundabout on Route 39. Affected side streets will include Jesse Eldredge Road, Breezy Way, Glen Road, Heather Road, Sterling Road, Carriage Lane, and Argyle Way.

Wheeler says that crews will be avoiding route 28 as they work, “Obviously we’ll not be in the layout of Route 28 because of DOT permitting and whatnot and timing,” he said, “so we’ll be starting just north of 28 working toward the rotary. So we’re hoping to get out there in the very near future.”

Crews will be at work Monday through Friday from 7 AM until 5 PM, while National Grid has committed to minimizing traffic mitigation, travelers should expect detours and delays throughout the process and are encouraged to seek alternate routes as necessary.

Wheeler was also asked by selectmen at the meeting if the project would interfere with the Rail Trail bike path in Harwich, which intersects Depo Road. While he said that while he could not answer for certain, he expressed that he was confident that it would not.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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