Fitzwater Street work begins; traffic affected

Workers for TK Construction, sub-contractors for the city of Salisbury work on Fitzwater Street Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. The westbound lane of Fitzwater Road is closed as they complete the work that should care of frequent flooding of the street. (Photo by Todd Dudek.)

The long-awaited overhaul of the Fitzwater-West Main Street corridor is under way, including the emergency repair of an aging sewer line that collapsed the week before Thanksgiving.

A temporary bypass was installed until the damaged section of pipe is replaced, said Rick Baldwin, an engineer with the city’s Department of Infrastructure and Development.

Meanwhile, the westbound lane of Fitzwater from West Main to Hill Street is closed until the repair work is completed by the end of the month.

City officials plan to upgrade the rest of the old 8-inch terra cotta sewer pipes in the area by lining them with a type of plastic. That work won’t start until the fall of 2020, Baldwin said.

The $5.5 million project also includes the installation of a new sewage pump station that should be completed in one year.

In 2016, a deal between the city and the developer of two lots at the Salisbury Marina required the developer to relocate the pump station that currently sits on one of the marina lots. The deal also required the developer to purchase land at Fitzwater and Pearl streets and donate it to the city, and to pay $25,000 toward the construction of the new pump station.

The pump station will be planted with trees as a buffer between the facility and nearby houses.

Once the sewer work is completed, crews will mill and repave the street between Delaware Avenue and the West Main Street drawbridge. Some road grade angle alterations will be used to ease problems with ponding. 

New streetscaping will follow, with curbing, sidewalks and lighting to match the improvements already in place on Main Street in Downtown Salisbury.

As work progresses, drivers can expect to encounter periodic inconveniences that may be caused by the temporary closure of a lane in one direction or the other. However, contractor TK Construction does not anticipate any closure that will affect the flow of traffic in both directions simultaneously, city officials said. 

Access to all businesses along this stretch of Fitzwater and West Main streets – Mad Hatter Café, Brew River and Ugly Pie – and the Salisbury Marina will be maintained at all times, and there will be no impact on municipal parking lots or the lot at Brew River, according to city officials.

As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.