Find Out if Your Road Made the List of Road Repairs for 2016

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Charlie Breitrose

A road after being milled and prepared for overlay of new asphalt.

A road after being milled and prepared for overlay of new asphalt.

Charlie Breitrose

A road after being milled and prepared for overlay of new asphalt.

The Council’s Public Works subcommittee approved a list of six Watertown roads to be repaired in 2016 on Thursday night.

The Department of Public Works recommended the half dozen roads to be fixed using the $2.5 million budgeted for street and sidewalk repairs.

The streets on the list are:

  • Edenfield Road, from Main Street to Warren Street
  • Hillside Road, from Belmont Street to Hillcrest Circle
  • Hillcrest Circle
  • Grenville Road
  • Merrill Road
  • Purvis Street

All of the streets will be completely torn up and repaved on top of a new foundation. They will also get concrete sidewalks with granite curbing, said Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee.

The streets also have undergone utility work, replacing either water or gas mains, or both, said Town Engineer Matthew Shuman.

Last year, the streets on the list had another form of repair, mill and overlay, where the top layer of asphalt is ground up and re-lain.

The Councilors wanted to know how the streets were chosen. Road condition is one of the main factors, but they do not want to redo a road that will be ripped up to put in a new gas or water main, Mee said. Gas mains are the biggest priority because National Grid must replace its old metal pipes with plastic ones.

The town is working with the utilities to get more streets ready for repairs in future years.

“We have an aggressive schedule, through a lot of hard work and collaboration from both sides,” Mee said.

The DPW is also creating a database of conditions for each road in town, including wear and tear on the road, the sidewalk condition, the number of manholes and catch basins and curb cuts, Shuman said.

Councilor Tony Palomba requested the DPW come up with a list so that streets can be prioritized. Councilor Susan Falkoff suggested the list take into account the street condition and whether utility work has been done.

Mee said that the DPW would work on that.

Some of the roads on the 2015 have not yet been completed. Evans Street is in progress and work will begin in the spring in Fifield Street, Lowell Avenue and raised traffic tables on Church Street.

Councilor Aaron Dushku asked if the planning could start earlier so bids can also go out and work can be started earlier in the year. Mee said the DPW is prepared to do that.

The members of the subcommittee agreed to have the meeting to approve the streets to be repaired in 2017 in October 2016.

Meanwhile, the DPW is also working on preparing major projects, such as installing a rotary in the intersection of Common Street, Orchard Street and Church Street, and the major renovation of Mt. Auburn Street, Mee said.

They will have the projects designed and ready for when the town is able to get funding from the state or some other source, Mee said.

2 thoughts on “Find Out if Your Road Made the List of Road Repairs for 2016

  1. If those streets had mill and overlay just last year, why are they having a complete rehab now? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do the full job on streets that haven’t had other work and need it, and do it right the first time on those streets? The streets mentioned had repairs just last year, why do those streets again?

    Let the mill and overlay suffice on those streets for now and do the full job from now on, starting with other roads that have not had any attention and need it, it is unclear to me why we do a patchwork job rather than doing what needs to be done in the first place.

    There needs to be a town-wide decision-making process that eliminates the current inefficient waste of funds that end up in paving contractors’ pockets. Why pave twice when you can do it right the first time? Asphalt is a toxic substance. Redoing a street once, with curbs and all, will save the town money and will preserve the health and safety of the community.

  2. Hi Barbara- The key word in your statement was “IF” the streets had an overlay last year. Why don’t you come up to Grenville Road and check the street out for yourself before writing about what you clearly don’t know anything about. Two years ago the Town replaced the water line which was very old and leaking. residents were told it was one of the oldest water lines in the Town and it was functionally obsolete. At that time the contractor patched the trench. Last year, National Grid replaced the entire gas line which was so old that it broke at least five times during the water line replacement and was leaking daily. This was very dangerous for everyone in our neighborhood. Have you ever seen houses that blew up due to gas leaks. You know it’s serious when the gas company replaces not only the pipe in the street, but every service line to the houses. They then patches the road (again). So, to set the record straight, the road was never milled or overlayed. It was only patched which is appropriate because it is standard operating procedure to wait several months for the trenches to fully settle before a new road surface can be installed. Then there is the matter of weather causing delays not to mention the funding to complete the project. The good news is that no one speeds down the street anymore because of all the trenches and patches. The bad news is that the best part of the road is the patches, the rest of the road is falling apart. The DPW has done a great job keeping our neighborhood advised and maintaining the project timeline. THERE HAS BEEN NO WASTE OF MONEY OR INEFFICIENCY GOING ON DURING THIS PROJECT to protect public safety.

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