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  • Severino Trucking loans concrete barriers to City to help realize downtown reopening

    PORTSMOUTH – One of the first, visible accomplishments of the Citizen Response Task Force, working with the City is to identify streets where partial closure can allow restaurants to extend seating into what had been parking spaces. To accomplish those temporary closures while protecting restaurant patrons seated in the former street from traffic, the City’s DPW developed a plan with the Police, Fire, Health and Planning Departments to place concrete barriers in strategic locations.

    So far, the City has closed off part of Pleasant Street between Court and State, and a row of 10 parking spaces next to the Congress Street-side buildings in the Worth Lot, to allow for outdoor dining in these areas. Severino Trucking Co., Inc., out of Candia, has stepped forward to donate the concrete barriers, charging the City only the costs associated with the loading, trucking and unloading of the barriers. They have offered as many concrete barriers as the City needs. So far, DPW expects it will take 200 barriers to cover Pleasant Street, a section of the Worth Lot and upcoming locations on Market, Congress and Penhallow streets.

    To underscore his company’s commitment to being a part of the solution to help Portsmouth recover from the impact of the pandemic on local businesses, Tom Severino, vice president of Severino Trucking joined his crew on Wednesday, June 24 to help unload barriers in the Worth Lot.

    “Talk about ‘all hands on deck’!” said City Manager Karen Conard when she learned that Severino pitched in. “I am constantly being reminded of what an amazing place Portsmouth is – and of all the people it takes to make it so. We are very appreciative of the Severino donation to help Portsmouth businesses get back to the ‘new normal.’ Their efforts literally helped move the pieces in place sooner.”

    The Citizen Response Task Force continues to look at creative alternatives for using spaces in the “public realm” including partially-closed downtown streets and the rooftop of Foundry Place Garage. The Task Force is meeting with residents and surveying businesses to determine what new uses will work best for the largest number. Interested individuals should email hotline@cityofportsmouth.com to weigh in. The subcommittees are working with DPW, Fire, Police, Inspections, Planning and the Health Department to turn concepts and their costs into practical reality, with the hope of having new ideas in place as soon as possible. For information, visit: https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/city/citizen-response-task-force