Ocean Avenue road work continues — without detours

New London — A $1.8 million paving project underway on Ocean Avenue — to the consternation of some area residents and beachgoers — resumed on Friday but this time without the detours.

Public Works Director Brian Sear said more than half of the stretch where work is being done, a portion from Greenway Road to Neptune Avenue, is paved and drivable. Work crews will remain in the area to complete work on aprons to abutting driveways while starting prep work from Greenway Road north to Niles Hill Road.

The state-funded project last weekend involved detours around the work area and, coupled with a gas leak and crowds at Ocean Beach Park on Saturday, led to traffic delays in the area.

Sear said he doesn’t anticipate any detours again until July 15, when contractors begin what he described as the “full-depth reclamation” of the northern portion of the Ocean Avenue project. That work includes digging 17 inches of the road bed and laying down multiple layers of new asphalt, along with catch basin, drainage and driveway apron work. Sidewalks already have been replaced in the area.

B&W Paving and Landscaping of Waterford is completing the work and involves a 4,450-foot stretch of a city-maintained portion of Ocean Avenue. The state maintains the portion of Ocean Avenue (Route 213) north of Niles Hill Road. The city has hired CLA Engineers Inc. of Norwich for inspection of the work and on-site administration.

Sear acknowledged some people were unhappy with the weekend detours but said it is long overdue work for which prep work actually started in the fall. The work had included relocation of underground gas lines.

“It was a bad section of road,” Sear said. “This is a total redo.”

Along with the timing of the start of work, Ocean Avenue resident Jeff Suntup said he was perturbed by a stream of traffic through small and densely populated side roads.

“It made absolutely no sense,” Suntup said. “Road work at the time did not warrant closing such a long stretch (of Ocean Avenue) and detours should have led people to the higher capacity roads, such as Glenwood Avenue.”

Suntup did admit road work was needed, considering the large potholes left from gas line work last year that he joked required a four-wheel drive to navigate.

g.smith@theday.com

Editor's note: This version corrects the name of Glenwood Avenue.

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