NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Construction work at Smith College will require closing the eastbound side of Elm Street near John M. Greene Hall for much of June, and the westbound side of the street for much of July, as Smith extends chilled water pipes to its Cutter and Ziskind student houses near the intersection of Elm Street and Prospect Street.

According to Smith Facilities Management’s Senior Project Manager Charles Conant, the construction, designed to add air conditioning to the two houses and allow for future air conditioning in other buildings, will require a relatively deep excavation of 14 feet due to the location of existing utility lines, adding complexity to the job and extending the time it will take to complete. The construction will be completed in two parts in order to keep Elm Street open with two lanes and traffic flowing in both directions, Conant said.

According to Conant, the duration of the construction is related to the depth of the excavation and safety measures that must be taken as a consequence. Pipes must be placed beneath existing city sanitary, storm, and water mains, Columbia Gas mains and a Verizon duct bank. Large manhole structures must be set before piping, and the work will require ground-water pumping and related mitigation measures, Conant said.

The eastbound side of Elm Street and its crosswalk will be closed from June 6 until July 4, and the westbound side will be closed from July 7 until Aug. 8. The final setting of granite curbs and paving of sidewalks will be completed Aug. 8 through Aug. 11. A police detail will be present throughout construction, and only one crosswalk will be closed at any given time. The PVTA turnaround opposite John M. Greene Hall will not be affected

The college is notifying its campus and the greater community in order to give residents and commuters time to plan alternate routes or to adjust their commuting schedules.

Project Timeline

June 6 – July 4
Excavation work from John M. Greene Hall to center line of Elm Street

June_work

Diagram of June construction work and pedestrian detour. Click to enlarge.

  • Two traffic lanes (one eastbound, one westbound) maintained on westbound side of Elm Street; eastbound side of Elm Street closed to traffic
  • Eastbound sidewalk of Elm Street closed between 76 Elm Street and John M. Greene Hall. See above graphic for alternate, handicap accessible pedestrian routes.

July 7 – August 8
Excavation work from Cutter House to center line of Elm Street

Diagram of July construction work and pedestrian detours. Click to enlarge.

Diagram of July construction work and pedestrian detours. Click to enlarge.

  • Two traffic lanes (one eastbound, one westbound) maintained on eastbound side of Elm Street; westbound side of Elm Street closed to traffic
  • Westbound sidewalk of Elm Street closed between Henshaw Avenue and Prospect Street. See above graphic for alternate, handicap accessible pedestrian routes.