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City, contractor meet with property owners about Clinton Street reconstruction

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The general contractor got a bit of a surprise at Wednesday night’s informational meeting on the nearly $1.5 million Clinton Street reconstruction project.

That’s when Jeffrey E. Proulx, a co-owner of North Country Contractors, Calcium, learned that the Dulles State Office Building parking garage will be closed for renovation throughout most of the Clinton Street project.

“I didn’t know about it, but it doesn’t concern me,” he said after city officials and the contractor met with five property owners who will be affected by the Clinton Street reconstruction.

Afterward, City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk said the contractor did not know about the parking garage project because the Watertown City Council just awarded the contract for the city job Monday night.

That issue will be discussed at length with Mr. Proulx and his partner during a pre-construction meeting next week, he said. They will put together a strategy then on how to deal with garage closing and the 150 state office workers who will be scrambling for parking spots.

The issue about having the two projects going on at the same time was brought up a few times by the property owners Wednesday night.

Mark R. Lavarnway, CEO and president of Watertown Savings Bank, said that’s a lot of people looking for parking spots, just when parking will be at a premium.

Property owners also had concerns about dust, timing of different aspects of the street reconstruction, traffic patterns and what they should anticipate from the inconvenience of construction crews working on their street and sometimes directly in front of their homes and businesses.

Dr. Jason F. White, who lives at 250 Rexford Place, came away from the meeting feeling more comfortable about the situation, he said.

“I think everybody wants to work together,” he said.

The 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 the length of the street, from Washington Street to 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, from June 1 until November.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Hauk reiterated 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.

“We’ve been waiting for this project for a long time,” said John Doldo III, whose father, John, owns two medical office buildings and runs Clinton Court apartments.

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