It’s tentative, because work crews are still out there paving, but managers for the Brookman Road reconstruction said the route should be open during the week of Sept. 21, putting the completion date for the $3.8 million project almost two months ahead of schedule.
Brookman Road shut down in early May and the work was expected to take a year, according to Department of Public Works project engineer Nelson Petty Jr. Within the first three months, however, Public Works was able to sign a contract to accelerate the work and cut the time down to six months.
“So we’re about four, four and a half months in, so that means we’re ahead of schedule,” Petty said Monday. “We’re in the paving phase, doing what we call a base course this week, and we expect to do a final run Monday and Tuesday. So that’s why we’re hoping for Wednesday to open it up, barring anything unexpected.”
Petty said the main focus of the project was to install culverts under the road to handle drainage and flooding issues, particularly runoff that would pool on the road after heavy rains. Storm water running down from the Mariendal area would deteriorate the road and Petty said the solution was putting a system in place to capture the runoff and get it drained properly.
“A lot of the drainage system is subsurface, so you can’t really see it,” Petty said. “And the other thing we made sure to do was to make the road, which used to be asphalt, concrete. So even if there is a flood, after a short amount of time the road could be back in use.”
Petty said a concrete road is also more stable.
“There is a lot of heavy equipment that traverses that route, with the concrete plants right there and other vehicles carrying larger loads. This roadway will hold up a lot better,” he said.
When the project was first announced, the road was closed to traffic moving westbound from the Bovoni/Nadir intersection, which Petty said helped keep road crews safe. When heavy rains in mid-June caused a cave-in that closed traffic completely, the eastbound land was eventually reopened. Petty said that while many had to be rerouted in order to drive through the area, overall most residents understood the work had to be done.
“We know it’s been an inconvenience for many people, especially those traveling through that had to go all the way around, but everyone saw the work we put in and have been appreciative,” Petty said.
“When we tried to do this the first time, we alternated traffic and that ended up backing things up to the bottom of Raphune Hill and the other way to (Ivanna Eudora Kean High School) so it is easier for us to work and pave and do a better job without having to manage two-way traffic. And that worked out pretty well.”
A final opening date will soon be announced.