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Clinton Street project may make Dulles parking woes worse

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Reconstruction of Clinton Street will begin this summer soon after the Dulles State Office Building parking garage is scheduled to close for renovation.

The nearly $1.5 million city project is scheduled to start in late June or early July. The work will involve replacing sewers and curbs and repaving the street along a three-block section from Washington Street to the merger of Holcomb and South Massey streets.

One lane will remain open during the construction.

The work will coincide with a nearly $1 million project to revamp the State Office Building garage off Washington Street, which will send about 150 state employees scurrying for other parking spaces from June 1 until November.

On Thursday morning, members of Advantage Watertown expressed concerns about the timing of the two projects and their impact on traffic and parking.

To try to answer questions and alleviate fears, a meeting of property owners and the public will be held at 7 p.m. May 23 in the third-floor council chambers in City Hall, 245 Washington St.

“I just wish they had the public involved earlier in the process,” member Dr. Jason F. White said.

Design work for the Clinton Street project has been completed; a contract was awarded recently to North Country Contractors, Henderson.

City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk said the city was already committed to doing the street work this summer when he heard about the parking garage project. It was put off a few years in the city’s capital projects program, even though the work should have been completed earlier because of the volume of traffic along Clinton Street and the condition of the road, he said.

“We’re hoping for minimal disruptions,” Mr. Hauk said.

He and his staff plan to meet with property owners one-on-one on the night of the public meeting to get their input.

Mark R. Lavarnway, CEO and president of Watertown Savings Bank, acknowledged that his employees and customers will be affected by the project. He plans to attend the May 23 meeting.

“I would hope they would be as accommodating as they can,” Mr. Lavarnway said, adding “it’s unfortunate” that both the Clinton Street and parking garage projects will happen at the same time.

National Grid and Verizon will also upgrade their infrastructure during the Clinton Street project. The brunt of the project will be completed this construction season, but work crews will be back to finish next spring, Mr. Hauk said.

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