Medway Route 109 Reconstruction Update – April Meeting Recap
“Construction is tough”, said Peter Harkey, co-owner of Harkey’s Wine & Spirits in Millis, at the recent Medway Business Council breakfast meeting. He spoke to Medway business owners regarding what businesses can expect during the upcoming Route 109/Main Street reconstruction. According to Harkey, who went through a similar project in Millis, the construction process can be frustrating for everyone. However, it’s something you just have to endure because you can’t change it. Be realistic that the construction will impact your business. Some days will be better than others.
Communication is extremely important. “Business owners need to be involved,” said Harkey. He described how businesses worked with the Town of Millis and the State to ensure that signage communicated to consumers as to what point the road was open on days that through traffic was being rerouted. Harkey stressed that business owners should take the initiative to talk with contractors and police details because even with preplanning miscommunications can still occur. Being proactive in talking with people makes a difference.
During construction be sure to “tell your customers how appreciative you are for them coming in” and thank them for their business. While he didn’t have specific examples of businesses running promotions or specials during construction to entice business, certainly it’s something to consider as well as finding ways to communicate with customers. As Harkey stated, the bottom line is to communicate with town officials if you have concerns, “be reasonable and be patient.”
As a follow-up, Town of Medway Selectman Dennis Crowley and Director of Communications Mary Becotte shared with attendees details about the reconstruction, which will stretch 1.5 miles along Route 109/Main Street between Holliston and Franklin Streets.
In planning for over 10 years, the project, which is estimated to cost approximately $13 million, has been organized by the Town of Medway’s Route 109 planning committee. Selectman Crowley outlined how the Town has worked closely with the State in the planning for the project. However, he wanted to make it clear that this is a State project not a Town of Medway project. Ultimately the State controls the project, but the Town will work closely with the State to protect the Town’s interests. The Town will ensure that residents and businesses are kept informed throughout the project, which is expected to last between 24 and 30 months.
Crowley walked attendees through the details of the project, which includes adding sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic signals and street lights; widening the road; reconfiguring turn lanes; creating a new entrance to Choate Park; and regrading a portion of the road. He indicated that the State has bid the project and is due to announce the selected contractor at the beginning of May. That will be followed by planning meetings in June to outline the construction and traffic plan. While prior estimates have indicated that construction will begin in July 2016 and continue through November 2018, Crowley indicated with the job being awarded soon the Town should have better information on timelines within the coming weeks. He also indicated that the Town is planning to hire an individual to specifically monitor the project to protect the Town’s interests and ensure communication with the State.
According to Becotte, who was hired by the Town in December, the Town of Medway website and the Town’s email newsletter will provide updates during construction to those who sign up. Medway Business Council members will automatically be signed up. The Town is creating a new Route 109 Taskforce that will be comprised of town officials, members of the business community and town residents to ensure effective communication during the project. Becotte indicated that part of her role will be to facilitate communication and she encourages anyone with questions to contact her directly.
Information and updates on the Route 109 reconstruction project can be found on the Town’s website, www.townofmedway.org, which was just recently redesigned and relaunched.
Thank you to the Medway VFW Post 1526 and caterer Pangea Cuisines. Also, special thanks to Medway Cable Access for filming the presentation, which will be broadcast on Medway’s cable access channel and available online at www.medwaycable.com. To learn more about Medway Business Council visit www.medwaybusinesscouncil.org.