SALEM - A contractor doing off-site road work for the Lowe's construction project has agreed to not do anymore paving during the day after a day spent milling last month tied up traffic on one of the town's most traveled roads.
"I did not think it was going to turn into the nightmare it turned into," contractor Paul Pandelina told the selectmen last night.
About three weeks ago, paving crews spent a day doing the work on Route 28 near where a hardware store is being constructed. The construction closed a lane of traffic, causing a logjam along the heavily traveled road and preventing cars from turning into some parking lots. Selectmen Pat Hargreaves and Everett McBride said they were inundated with calls from people upset about the work.
Pandelina told the selectmen that paving was done during the day because there was concern about whether the night air would be too cold to allow the asphalt to properly settle. All further work that would close lanes will be done at night, and if the pavement doesn't last through the winter, they will do the work over again in the spring, he said.
"It wasn't done in malice, it wasn't done sneaky," Pandelina said. "I had nothing to gain in doing it that way."
Traditionally, paving projects on Route 28 have been done at night, and McBride said the town staff should have known better than to have allowed the paving company to work during the day.
"I blame staff for not letting you know upfront," McBride said.
Pandelina said the road would be paved between Nov. 16 and 20, and all the work would be done at night.
Town engineer Bob Puff told the selectmen the Engineering Department will oversee the work.
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