NEW BEDFORD — The construction on Union Street that has been ongoing since last year is currently on track to wrap up its current phase this spring, according to New Bedford Public Infrastructure Commissioner Jamie Ponte.

Underground utility work on the project — the $3 million second phase of a downtown-area makeover funded through MassWorks — is planned to finish by April 30, Ponte said.

Aboveground resurfacing and reconstruction of sidewalks, bump-outs and other features is then set to begin in May and be completed by the end of the 2022 construction season, sometime in the late fall, according to a city spokesperson.

A final finishing "top coat" will be put on later — in spring 2023 — after everything settles in, according to Ponte.

"Right now it's looking good," he said of the project schedule, although he added that the work has "had its challenges."

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Work began on the project early last year with the gas company working on the main and gas lines under the road.

Water and sewer line reconstruction, which also began last year, is still ongoing.

Ponte said that recent frigid temperatures have somewhat hindered work on the sewer lines.

"It's tough," he noted. But he remains optimistic about the project finishing on time.

MassWorks announced the grant award in 2020 for the second round of improvements to Union Street, which has recently seen a major facelift in the downtown area that was also funded through the state development agency.

The project will eventually bring ADA-compliant sidewalks, new pavement and markers, bike racks, lighting, trash bins, and other amenities to the section of Union Street between Sixth and Orchard Streets.

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