Watertown Police Join Other Departments to Patrol Along Charles River

Police from Watertown, Waltham, Newton and the State Police will patrol the Charles River this summer. Pictured L to R, Capt. Dowling (Newton PD), Capt. Rodley (Waltham PD), Lt. Dear (MSP
Brighton), Chief Lawn, Capt. Dupuis

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department:

The Massachusetts State Police, Waltham Police Department, Watertown Police Department, and Newton Police Department, along with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, are partnering in a summer initiative to enhance safety along the Riverwalk and other parkland along the Charles River Upper Basin. Troopers and Officers this weekend will launch Project Safe Summer, a joint patrol initiative that recognizes the four police agencies’ shared responsibility to enhance public safety along this serene area popular with walkers, runners, cyclists, and nature lovers. Teams consisting of members from each of the four departments will patrol the Upper Basin parklands and work collaboratively to address quality-of-life issues and other public concerns. The joint teams will patrol the area at various times, supplementing existing regular patrols.

Registration Open for 20th Annual Charles River Cleanup

Chuck Dickinson’s “Charles River, Watertown” came in third in the Watertown Savings photo contest. The 20th Annual Charles River Clean up is coming up in April. See how you can get involved. The following announcement came from State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s Office:

Registration is now open for the 20th Annual Charles River Cleanup, which will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 9 AM – 12 PM, followed by a volunteer appreciation picnic on the Esplanade. If you’re interested in participating this year, click here to register!

LETTER: Resident Likes the Landscaping of the New Pedestrian Bridge, Railings Not So Much

Watertown resident Chuck Dickinson came across crews putting in the landscaping at either end of the new pedestrian bridge across the Charles River, and he liked the crew’s work so much that he took some photos. 

The Department of Conservation and Recreation installed the new bridge at the end of May in place of the old one, which was not handicap accessible. He also took a few photos of the new bridge, including the side railings (which he said are quite tall). Dickinson submitted the following write-up:

After a long-anticipated installation of the new Thompson Pedestrian Bridge, landscapers from DCR contractor MON Landscaping (Dartmouth, MA) labored in the hot sun on the days before and after the Fourth of July holiday to plant new shrubs and trees on both sides of the Charles River. The landscaping is a needed finishing touch to the bridge project, as it softens the concrete and asphalt approaches on both sides of the river with greenery and foliage. Although many are unhappy with the high railings on the new bridge that obscure or limit river views, the bridge’s landscaping is likely to be welcomed and appreciated by all.

Public Works Encourages Residents to Report Spills in the Charles River

{The following piece was provided by Town Engineer Matthew Shuman from the Watertown Department of Public Works}
We appreciate our citizens on the look-out for potential sources of pollution in the Charles River, and it’s unfortunate that this resident had a difficult time contacting someone after hours. I’m not sure about the particulars in this instance, but we do receive calls after hours using an answering service. Furthermore, we are staffed 24-7 for emergencies. Also, all our storm drains that enter the Charles River (“outfalls”) have signs and a number attached to them (see the photo). It’s helpful when reporting potential pollution to include the outfall number as well, as this can help us with follow-up investigations.

Recreation Department Hosts Free Kayaking Event on Charles River

The Watertown Recreation Department announced it will host a free Kayaking event on the Charles River – in partnership with Live Well Watertown. Participants will pair up in a double kayak for a fun, leisurely, or active ride along the Charles River. Charles River Recreation will provide basic instruction and safety rules for all who participate. This program is open to new and experienced kayakers. Comfortable, layered clothing is recommended; wear shoes that can get wet.

Strange Substance Seen Flowing into Charles River from Storm Drains

A Watertown resident caught on video a strange looking substance flowing out of storm drains into the Charles River on June 2. He could not identify what it was and was frustrated by efforts to report the outflow. 

The resident, David, lives near the Charles River and spotted the floating, beige or yellowish substance in the water Saturday afternoon. See video below. “It was a dark color and was floating on the surface of the water,” David said. The substance was coming out of two of the storm drain pipes and going the water.

Installation of Replacement Pedestrian Bridge Across Charles River Begins

Sections of the new Joseph Thompson Pedestrian Bridge arrived Wednesday and will be lifted into place on Thursday morning, however it will still be a few weeks before people can meander across the new span. The bridge has been a topic of discussion and contention for many Watertown residents, especially those living close to the section of the river just west of Watertown Square. Originally planned to be in place by the end of 2017, the new bridge arrived Wednesday. Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy visited the construction site Wednesday afternoon as workers prepared the bridge to be lifted into place on Thursday morning. The project is part of the effort by the Baker-Polito Administration to allow more people to access parks and recreational areas around Massachusetts, Roy said.

Charles River Path, Parking Lot Closing Briefly for Installation of Pedestrian Bridge

The long awaited installation of the Joseph Thompson Pedestrian Bridge will happen at the end of May, and will require the closure of a section of the path along the Charles River in Watertown, as well as a parking lot near the Dealtry Pool. The Department of Conservation and Recreation sent out the following information about the closure of the path:
DCR Pedestrian and Traffic Advisory: Charles River Greenway/Dealtry Pool in Watertown
WHAT: On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, and Thursday, May 31, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will implement a closure of the Charles River Greenway along Pleasant Street between Bridge Street and Galen Street in the Town of Watertown, and the parking lot at the Dealtry Memorial Pool. The closure will accommodate the delivery and placement of the new Joseph Thompson Pedestrian Bridge. Work will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pedestrians and bicyclists are encouraged to utilize California Street, and traffic delays are anticipated. A detour route and traffic signage will be clearly marked, a police detail will be on site, and DCR Rangers will assist pedestrians and bicyclists.