LETTER: Kudos to Watertown’s Town Engineer for Winning Award

Editor:

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.

Watertown Declares Snow Emergency for This Weekend’s Storm

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.

See Which Watertown Roads Will be Repaired in 2019

Eight Watertown roads will undergo full repaving in the 2019 construction season, while others will get a new top layer on the the worst sections of the roadway. 

Each year the town sets aside $2.5 million in its budget for road repair. The Town Council’s Public Works subcommittee approved the recommendation of the roads to be repaired next year at a meeting Tuesday night. The list, presented by the Department of Public Works, still must get approval of the full Town Council. The roads that made the list are:

Bellevue Road, from Channing Road to Common StreetAvon RoadChandler StreetBurnham StreetBridgham AvenueNichols Avenue, from Dexter Avenue to Boylston StreetBartlett Street, including Everett Avenue

District C Councilor Vincent Piccirilli, chair of the subcommittee, wondered if the double yellow line would remain on Nichols Avenue. 

“The reality is people park on both sides and people drive straddling the double yellow line,” Piccirilli said. “Under traffic laws it is illegal to do so.”

Expect Delays on Main Street Due to Installation of Curbs, Crosswalk Improvements

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 5, Traffic on Main Street will likely be slowed due to construction of a new sidewalk and improvements to a crosswalk between the Watertown Library and the Post Office. The Department of Public Works announced details of the roadwork, which will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Traffic will flow in both directions, but could be delayed by the roadwork. Also, one of the stops for the MBTA’s 70/70A bus will move down the street. The following information was provided by the Watertown Department of Public Works:

Please be informed that Daigle Electric will be performing construction work on Main Street at the crosswalk between the Post Office and Public Library as part of MassDOT Project 608540; (District 6 – Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility upgrades at various locations).

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.

LETTER: Thank You to Watertown DPW for Helping With Blocked Sewer

Many thanks to Peter Anastasi and his co-workers at the Watertown Water Department. Recently I had a serious backup in my sewerage system. I first called a private relief company and after trying unsuccessfully to relieve the blockage I was told that I probably had a broken drain pipe and would need a private company to replace the line from my house to the street. They indicated that I could get a list of approved contractors from the town highway department. I then called the Public Works Department and within 15 minutes I had Mr. Anastasi at my front door.

Snow Cleanup Continues for Watertown DPW After Storm Drops More than a Foot

With a storm that lasted most of Thursday, and dropped North of a foot of snow, Watertown’s Department of Public Works crews have been busy the last couple days. 

Snow totals in the area show that more than a foot of snow fell in Watertown. The National Weather Service reports that West Newton got 15 inches and it measured 13 inches in Arlington. The storm was a tough one to handle, said DPW Superintendent Gerry Mee. “It was not the biggest accumulation but because of the cold temperatures and intensity of the storm it was very difficult,” Mee said. The snow emergency and all-day parking ban will remain in place for now because roads have been narrowed by the snow, Mee said.

Town Wants to Know What Changes You’d Make to Streets in Your Neighborhood

Many road projects planned by the Town of Watertown focus on major roads and intersections, but the Department of Public Works recently began an effort to find places to make small scale changes on neighborhood streets. The improvements are not just for motor vehicles, but also for walkers, bikers and riders of public transportation, said Phil Goff, senior planning associate with Alta Planning + Design, the firm hired by the town to create a list of projects. Accommodating all these forms of transportation is part of the Town’s Complete Streets Policy. In February Town officials signed a Commonwealth Compact with the state and creating the policy was the first step toward the Town being able to apply for up to $400,000 in state funding for the projects. The second step, or tier, is creating the Complete Streets Prioritization Plan.