LETTER: Residents Thankful for Quick Response by Public Works Employees

A Watertown Department of Public Works snow plow. To the Editor:

We are writing to thank the Watertown Public Works Department, and to commend two of its workers for the outstanding service they recently provided to us. On Sunday, March 22 our sewer line became blocked. We attempted to unclog it with no success. About 6:30 p.m. we called the DPW to see if it would be possible for someone to come by the next morning.

New Roundabout, Traffic Light Added to Common Street

An overhead view of Common Street, including the new roundabout on the right end, and the new traffic light at Common and Spring streets (left side, near the green sections). A much used road in Watertown has undergone a transformation this summer, and drivers will see a new roundabout and a traffic light. The roundabout is located at the five-prong intersection of Common Street with Orchard Street and Church Street. Workers have completed the repaving of the intersection and the roundabout is operational, according to the Watertown Department of Public Works. “The contractor has placed temporary pavement markings, signage and message boards throughout the area,” the DPW announcement said.

Repaving of Common Street Will Close Several Watertown Streets for a Week

The Watertown Department of Public Works is remodeling Common Street and surrounding streets. The following information was provided by the Watertown DPW:

Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 7 the Common Street project will enter an important phase. At that time, road reclamation (pulverization) of the road base, roadway fine grading, and paving of the binder (first) course of pavement is planned for Common Street (Columbia Street through and including the Orchard Street intersection) and Katherine Road (from Common Street to Church Street). Weather permitting, this phase of work will take approximately one week to complete.

2019 Watertown Road Projects Delayed After Bids Come in Too High

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.

Increases for Police, Fire, Schools Library & DPW Included in Watertown’s FY2020 Budget

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.

See Why the DPW is Drilling Borings on Streets Around Town

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.

Soil Borings to be Taken on Multiple Watertown Streets

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.

Stormwater Management Plan to be Discussed by Committee & DPW

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.