CANTON — Crews started installing large blocks of new granite curbing along Main Street on Monday, an outward sign that the disruptive Main Street reconstruction project is moving forward.
Roughly 4,000 feet of granite will be set in place, starting at the Main Street bridge and extending to the Park Street intersection.
Carmen S. Fratto, owner of Geneva Curbing & Concrete Co., the subcontractor hired for the work, said the curbing should be complete by today or Wednesday.
Crews from his company are using cranes to lift and lower the blocks of granite along both sides of Main Street, with about 2,000 feet used for each side.
Once the curbing work is finished, sidewalks and ornamental lighting will be added, according to Michael R. Flick, a spokesman from the state Department of Transportation.
“We are at about 95 percent completion on the downtown underground work and are focusing on getting the downtown buttoned up as planned,” Mr. Flick said in an email.
Depending on the weather, DOT plans to begin repaving Main Street in mid-October, with that work being done in the evenings, Mr. Flick said.
The base and binder layers will be done this fall, while the top layer will wait until next season, he said.
Lengthy traffic backups last Wednesday tested the patience of drivers, including some who resorted to yelling obscenities at DOT flaggers.
That day, crews from Luck Brothers Inc., the general contractor from Plattsburgh, were working at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Main Street, which is being used as the detour. A break in a water line complicated problems.
Canton Village Superintendent Brien E. Hallahan said he hopes the worst is behind.
“That was a nightmare of a day,” he said. “The work that had to be done that day disrupted the detour and the main drag. It was like coming into a funnel.”
Mr. Flick agreed that Wednesday was challenging.
“That was about the toughest spot on the project to work, given all the physical constraints and as we all know, traffic can sometimes back up in the village even when there is no work going on in Canton,” he said. “Trust me when I say everyone is glad to have that day done.”
Mr. Hallahan said he believes it will be interesting to see how the paving work progresses.
“With the paving being done at night, people will wake up in the morning and say, ‘Wow,’” he said.
Thomas A. Maroun Jr., the DOT project engineer, said the downtown section of Main Street is still on schedule to finish before the snow flies.
“We’ll work as late as we can,” Mr. Maroun said.
It hasn’t been determined if the new trees planned for Main Street will be planted this fall or next spring, Mr. Maroun said.
Next spring, crews will work on East Main Street to Stiles Avenue. That part of the project includes closing the CSX railroad crossing for six weeks and reconfiguring Jay Street into a cul-de-sac. Main Street is supposed to be completely closed to traffic while the railroad crossing is being worked on.
Besides new sidewalks, curbing and paving, the $9.55 million DOT project involves installing new underground water and sewer lines and replacing storm drains. The 1.1-mile project extends from Gouverneur Street to Stiles Avenue. New stairwells and benches also are planned.