Work on South Main Street continues this week, despite recent rains, which haven’t had much of an impact on the 20-month project schedule.
Director of Transportation Projects Terry Hughes said asphalt was installed in some parts north of Martin Street. Hughes said that work was done Wednesday night on the project and went well.
“The rain can have some impact and may delay some parts for a day or two depending on how long and how heavy the rain is,” Hughes said. “We’re still on schedule to have traffic on the (northbound) side of the highway by Thanksgiving.”
Hughes said that just because traffic is moving on the road doesn’t mean work is completed. There will still be some work going on the north side. To help businesses out, work on the southbound lanes will not begin in earnest until after the holidays.
“There may be some preliminary work going on on both ends of the project but nothing that will have a significant impact on retailers,” Hughes said. “We want to keep the impact on the holidays kept to a bare minimum.”
He said much of the preliminary work on the southbound lanes could be done at that time, as the city “wants to get ahead of the curve.” Hughes said there is a lot more to the paving process than just laying concrete.
It starts with putting in the underground storm system, then a cement stabilization is poured which went in last week.
“The cement stablization is trimmed off to make it level and four inches of asphalt is put in,” Hiughes said. “Then the concrete is put over all of that.”
Once the asphalt has been laid, Hughes said it makes it much easier for the workers to complete their work as they are not having to worry about mud. Another thing that slows the process down is doing the work on the driveways that lead out onto the road.
“All part of the plan,” Hughes said.
Work on the southbound lanes is expected to take about 10 months, as well, and should be completed by late 2013. To help businesses affected by the construction, the City of Weatherford, with some help from the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce, began a program last month titled Shop Grow Live Weatherford. Receipts totalling $50 or more from South Main businesses can be taken to the Chamber for a chance to win prizes such as an iPad, an ereader, gift certificates and more.
Hughes said response to the project has been tremendous so far. The first prize drawing for receipts dated Aug. 20 through Sept. 27 is Friday, Sept. 28. Drawings will be held on the last Friday of each month through the end of May.