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Canton rail crossing work to begin around July 1

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CANTON - Drivers heading through the village of Canton will have exercise a bit more patience this summer.

Beginning around July 1, the stretch of U.S. Route 11 from Stiles Avenue to Park Place is expected to be closed for six weeks while crews from CSX reconfigure the railroad crossing near Jay Street.

Traffic will be detoured off Main Street to Route 310, State Street and Riverside Drive.

DOT spokesman Michael R. Flick said provisions will be made for local traffic to access the downtown business district and local streets, but the detour will be mandatory for most drivers.

“There’s not going to be a choice whether people use the detour or not,” Mr. Flick said. “In many ways there should be less problems than we had last year.”

The work is part of $9.5 million Main Street reconstruction project launched last year by the state Department of Transportation. This season’s work is the second and last phase of the project.

Thomas A. Maroun, DOT project engineer, said Wednesday he hasn’t been able to finalize a definite start date with CSX officials, but he believes it will be on or close to July 1.

“Our message boards will will be up telling everyone to use the detour at that point,” he said.

Jay Street will also be closed once the rail crossing work begins. The project includes converting Jay Street into a cul-de-sac.

Crews from DOT are in the process of installing borings underneath the railroad tracks.

They will also start installing the borings for new water and sewer lines near the intersection of Harrison Street and Main Street, a process that requires digging about 18 feet deep.

Last summer, the DOT work focused on the downown business section. Traffic was sometimes backed up for miles, which prompted a few heated excxhanges between disgruntled motorists and road crew workers assigned to direct traffic.

Traffic will flow more efficiently if drivers follow the signals and directionals that will be installed, Mr Flick said.

Some delivery trucks may need to access Main Street to deliver supplies to downtown merchants.

“If there’s concerns we’ll address them and get people downtown if they need to get downtown,” Mr. Flick said.

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