Representatives from the Narragansett Bay Commission and its contractors gave neighborhood residents a progress report May 23 on the extensive sewer construction project.

Program manager Joe Pratt and other officials spoke to about 15 to 20 participants in an open forum arranged by SNA at the Rochambeau Library, which stayed open specifically for the 6 p.m. meeting.

Pratt said that the Combined Sewer Overflow Program is in its second phase, which involves separating utilities such as gas and water lines from the sewer lines because of limited space beneath the street level. He further said that the surface would be repaved at the end of the project.

Several resident expressed concerns about how long the resurfacing would be delayed and about the machinery noise, especially the backup warning beeping by moving equipment. Stirred-up dust and leftover debris were also cited, according to participants. One Hope Street business owner said he was not notified about the street closure, pointing out that he could have taken the day off if he knew he would not have any customers

The NBC officials apologized for the dirt and anything else they had done wrong, noted that the loud beeping is a legal requirement for all heavy equipment backing up and promised to sweep the streets more often. Jamie Sammons, the NBC public affairs representative, encouraged residents with questions to contact her at (401) 461-8848, ext. 377 or