This summer’s planned Bluff Street waterline and road improvements in Winthrop have been delayed until spring 2014 due to a switch from state to federal funding.
The Bluff Street improvement plan includes widening the roadway, installing storm drainage, curbs, and sidewalks, and resurfacing the street – similar to the improvements made on Castle Avenue earlier this summer. At the same time the aging and leaky water main under Bluff Street will be replaced during construction.
While street improvement funds are secure, Winthrop had been counting on a loan through the Public Works Assistance Account for the water line replacement. After that account was essentially gutted during state budget negotiations in June, the town sought and last week was awarded a back-up loan from the federally funded Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, administered by the Department of Health.
Along with the Bluff Street water main, over the next three years the $1.68 million loan will also finance water line improvements in Horizon Flats and along Highway 20 south of the trestle bridge, according to Public Works Superintendent Richard Karro.
Environmental and cultural resources permitting must be completed before federal funds are awarded, thus delaying the start of construction until next spring, Karro said.