NEW BEDFORD — The city is offering free two-hour parking on some sections of Union Street downtown, as well as some surrounding sections, as road improvement work continues, according to a news release.

The free two-hour parking spots are marked with red bags over the parking meters. The sections of Union Street affected will change based on the location where construction is occurring, according to the city.

The city replaced water pipes dating back to the 19th century and currently continues to update sidewalks. The project will add “bump outs,” which will shorten the distance for crosswalks and make it safer for pedestrians. It’s expected to continue down Union Street to Water Street, block by block, through this year.

New lights and traffic lights will accompany the update through a $2.5 million grant from MassWorks.

Questions regarding the two hour free parking program for Union Street road improvements should be directed to the Traffic Commission Office at 508-961-3153. The office, 51 Elm St., and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.