A slate of seven Watertown roads set to be repaved this year will likely have to wait until next spring after bids for the work came in much higher than expected. Town Manager Michael Driscoll told the Town Council on Tuesday that the bids for the 2019 Watertown street and sidewalk repair project came in and he recommends rejecting them. “There was only one bid and it was 33 percent higher than expected,” Driscoll said. The issue was referred to a joint meeting of the Town Council’s Public Works and Budget & Fiscal Oversight subcommittees to decide how to go forward. Public Works Superintendent Gerry Mee recommended that the bids go out later in the year.
Watertown Town Manager Michael Driscoll revealed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget on Tuesday. Next year’s Watertown Budget includes money for an additional police office, a new leadership role in the Fire Department, and at the Library. Tuesday night, Town Manager Michael Driscoll presented the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to the Town Council. The total operating budget is $147.76 million, which is an increase of 3.89 percent or $5.53 million. When Driscoll presented the budget projection in October, there was a shortfall of about $800,000, but Tuesday he said the Town’s revenues came in close to $1.5 million above the projections.
A series of borings are being drilled around Watertown on behalf of the Department of Public Works to test areas where water main replacements could take place. An announcement about the borings came out Friday, and DPW Superintendent Gerry Mee said it has caught the interest of residents. While drilling of borings happens frequently in town, typically they are done for private construction projects. Because the borings are being done for a town project, Mee said, the DPW put out an announcement. “They are being done in areas of potential future water projects,” Mee said.
Multiple streets in Watertown will be impacted by exploratory boring beginning April 22. The Department of Public Works announced that Pine Street, Essex Street, Nash Street and Oak Street will be the locations of bore drilling beginning Monday, April 22, at 7 a.m. Work, to be done by New England Geotech, is expected to last until 5 p.m. and occur over two days. “Disturbances to residents are anticipated to be minor, but residents may notice elevated short-term noise levels and equipment working,” according to the DPW announcement. Two-inch bores will be taken to test soil. Each bore takes between 1-3 hours to complete.
Find out about Watertown’s Stormwater Management Plan at the next meeting of the Stormwater Advisory Committee the information provided by the Department of Public Works below. The Watertown Stormwater Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Lower Hearing Room in Town Hall. Come to learn more about the Town’s program for managing stormwater runoff and to help us update our Stormwater Management Plan. Learn about stormwater runoff and its impact to the Charles RiverHear how the Town regulates stormwater runoff from developmentContribute to the Town’s Stormwater Management PlanBrainstorm ways to engage Watertown about stormwater
Stormwater from Watertown’s drainage system flows directly into the Charles River without treatment and contributes to pollution in the river. The EPA requires the Town to take certain measures to control and treat stormwater runoff.
A road work project that will impact multiple streets in the East End begins this week, Department of Public Works officials announced. The project includes installation of the “final asphalt wearing surface” on Edgecliff Road, Woodleigh Road, Westland Road and Templeton Parkway. According to the DPW announcement, work will begin on Wednesday, April 17, weather permitting. “The area will be closed to motor vehicle traffic during the paving process,” the announcement states. “Please park your motor vehicles out of the construction area on the intersecting side streets if necessary.”
Matt Shuman, Watertown’s Town Engineer, was honored at the Charles River Watershed Association’s annual meeting last week. He received their Rita Barron Public Official Award for his efforts with the Edenfield Avenue Green Street project. This was a project to install innovative green infrastructure elements in a major road reconstruction project on Edenfield Ave. According to CRWA, “Matt was deeply involved with the design and engineering of the tree trenches and bioswales that were introduced into the public right of way. The project not only acts as a traffic calmer, it treats a substantial amount of polluted storm-water runoff, recharging it into the ground rather than sending it into the Charles River.” This project was featured in a U.S. EPA online workshop on Green Street approaches, and has provided useful lessons-learned for design of green infrastructure stormwater approaches in future Watertown road reconstruction projects.
A snow plow clears snow from a parking lot. The Town of Watertown has declared a snow emergency beginning Saturday evening. See details below. The following announcement came from the Town of Watertown:
A winter weather event is predicted with 8-10 inches of snow accumulation in our area. The Superintendent of Public Works has declared a snow emergency effective 6:00 p.m. Saturday January 19, 2019, and will remain in effect until further notice.