Realignment project at Portland Avenue and North Main Street is completed

The realignment of the Portland Avenue/North Main Street intersection has been completed. The Georgetown Special Taxing District is in charge of the realignment project. The district oversees Georgetown Land Development Co.’s development project on the former Gilbert & Bennett wire mill site off Route 107. — Bryan Haeffele photo

The intersection work for the “gateway” to the Gilbert & Bennett redevelopment project is finished except for the installation of street lights and road striping.

Chris Lynch, spokesman for Georgetown Land Development Co., which owns the land, said the lights will be installed in late November or early December. The lights, as well as new crosswalks, will match those used in the town’s Georgetown Streetscape project on Main Street, he said.

The $1.2-million project near the intersection of Route 107 and North Main Street/Portland Avenue was under way at the same time as intersection improvements on Route 107, which are a separate project paid for by the state and overseen by the town. The intersection work for the redevelopment project is being paid for with state grants from the Department of Economic Development.

The Georgetown Special Taxing District is in charge of the intersection work for the redevelopment project. The taxing district was created to oversee the redevelopment of the former mill property according to the master plan approved by the town’s Zoning Commission.

The project has been stalled due to the economy, but funding for the infrastructure work has been in place. While there is a potential buyer for the property who remains unnamed, his due diligence continues.

The work just completed realigns Portland Avenue to intersect with a realigned North Main Street. The traffic island at the intersection of the two roads was eliminated.

In addition to the roadwork at Portland Avenue and North Main Street, the taxing district’s project brought the extension of the water main from Route 107 to connect to the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department on Portland Avenue.

The connection also allows for municipal water at the Georgetown Bible Church, the veterinarian’s office, the GLDC headquarters building, and the National Park Service building on the old mill property. Fire hydrants have been installed.

Other improvements are new sidewalks and granite curbs from the firehouse to Route 107 on Portland Avenue and sidewalks on North Main Street. A new parking lot was built at the church.

There are also new crosswalks, designed like those in the Streetscape project.

All of the road improvements were required before the developer could get building permits from the town. While the town is the issuer of the building permits, it won’t issue them until all of the work required by the State Traffic Commission is completed.

The realignment and other work is included in the town’s approved master plan of development for the property. The master plan details the redevelopment of the 55-acre parcel into a transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly development of mixed uses, including residential and commercial. It calls for townhouses, single-family homes, housing units for the elderly, and some units of affordable artists’ lofts.

In addition to the intersection work, the non-historic building behind GLDC’s headquarters’ building was demolished.

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