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Public meeting set for tonight on Factory Street reconstruction

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Property owners will learn more tonight about how they will be affected by a $6 million reconstruction of a busy section of Factory Street scheduled to take place late next year.

A public information meeting about the half-mile project will be held at 7 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers at City Hall, 245 Washington St.

The major construction project, from the intersection of Mill Street and Public Square to Huntington Street, will include replacing 120-year-old storm and sanitary sewers, sidewalks and other work. About 60 percent of the design work has been completed.

City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk said his office and design consultant AECOM, New York, will be at the meeting.

“We want to explain everything, have them look at the plans and get their feedback,” Mr. Hauk said.

A letter was sent to property owners notifying them of the meeting, the first of a series of sessions with the public, Mr. Hauk said. It will be such a major project that members of Advantage Watertown, a group of community and business leaders, got a briefing earlier this year.

Advantage Watertown members said they wanted to make sure the many businesses on that stretch of Factory Street are kept abreast of the project and what it would entail.

Mr. Hauk described the project similar to the State Street project that was completed a few years ago, but it will be about half of its length.

As planned now, bids will go out in either late 2013 or early 2014 and construction could start the fall of next year or the spring of 2014. It will most likely take two construction seasons to finish, Mr. Hauk said.

The federal government will pay for 80 percent of the project’s cost, the state will pay 15 percent and the city will pay the remainder.

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