By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — The reconstruction of South Main Street/Route 125 in Bradford is creating headaches for drivers this week, as workers put down the final pavement.
The work is expected to continue through tomorrow and drivers are being warned to expect delays and to seek alternate routes, especially during rush hour.
Mayor James Fiorentini said he was informed yesterday by the state Department of Transportation, or MassDOT, that detours were in place, but that two-way traffic would resume today.
He said traffic delays can be expected through tomorrow. Paving is taking place from Academy Plaza to Lexington Avenue this week. Officials are advising drivers to avoid South Main Street during rush hour until the end of the week.
Although the state set up electronic signs advising drivers that road work is taking place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., workers have been arriving early to begin preparation for their day, according to businesses in the Central Square area.
Fiorentini said he asked officials with MassDOT to consider paving at night for any work that remains after next week.
The state’s $13.1 million reconstruction project involved rebuilding busy Central Square along with the addition of new traffic signals. After the signals were turned on the first week of June, drivers complained of long delays heading north between Bradford Common and Central Square.
The square received a major face lift during the project, with roadway narrowing and the addition of an island to channel cars in new directions. The new lights replaced old ones which had not been working for years. The new traffic signals had been operating in flashing mode since May 8, when the portion of South Central Street between Route 125 and South Chestnut Street was permanently restricted to one-way, eastbound traffic, officials said.
As part of the project, the state recently installed a sign at the top of Laurel Avenue warning drivers they can no longer turn right on red when turning onto Route 125 southbound.