Spring is here, which means the start of construction season for road projects. The Department of Public Work has a long list of projects they are working on, and projects they have coming down the road.
See if your street or ones in your neighborhood made the list:
2017 Water Main Replacements
The Town’s annual water system improvement program seeks to replace undersized or inadequate water mains to improve water quality, fire flows, water pressure and volume. The following streets are included in this year’s program:
Katherine Road (Church Street to Common Street)
Hazel Street (Quimby Street to Dexter Ave.)
Westland Road, Woodleigh Road, and Edgecliff Road (Hillside Ave. to Woodleigh Road)
Bellevue Ave. and Mason Road
2017 Road Reconstruction Program
As approved by the Town Council, the following roads are scheduled for reconstruction during the 2017 season:
Waltham Street (Rosedale Road to Pleasant Street)
Knowles Road, Whitcomb Street, and Holly Street
2017 Sewer Investigation and Repair Program
A combination of sewer investigations, trenchless repairs, and spot repairs are scheduled for 2017, focusing on the Boylston/Nichols neighborhood, as well as Edward/Rutland/Evans and Gilbert/Prescott neighborhoods.
2017 Sewer and Drain Repairs
Following up on previous investigations, sewer and drain repairs are scheduled on the following streets:
Maplewood Street, from School Street to Dead End
Hosmer Safe Routes to School Program
The goals of this project are to encourage elementary school students to walk and bike to school, and enhance safety for all users by providing a safe path of travel in the project area.
The project is being funded through the Safe Routes to School Program, a federally funded initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in collaboration with the Town of Watertown.
The project seeks to implement the recommendations of the Hosmer Safe Routes to School Assessment performed by MassDOT in 2015.
Find out more about the Hosmer Safe Routes to School project by clicking here.
Common Street Reconstruction
Common Street is an important connector linking Watertown with Belmont. It also serves as an important connection to the Watertown High School and Victory Field. The goals of this project is to provide a “complete streets” approach to the Common Street corridor to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, improve traffic operations, and increase safety at the five-legged intersection of Common Street, Orchard Street, and Church Street.
Click here to see more information about the Common Street project.
Mount Auburn Street Planning and Designs
The transformation of Mount Auburn Street into a Complete Street has been a priority for the Town of Watertown since 2007, when it began a series of public workshops and conceptual designs for what was initially limited to the Coolidge Square business district, but was soon extended to its current project limits once the need was realized. The Town has embarked on a reimagining and redesign of Mount Auburn Street, from the Cambridge City line to Patten Street.
Mount Auburn Street is an approximately 2 mile long urban principal arterial connecting Watertown Square on the west with the City of Cambridge on the east. Land use along the corridor is medium-density commercial and residential. The roadway travels through the Coolidge Square business district and past Watertown High School and Hosmer Elementary School. The roadway, which is under Town jurisdiction but carries State Route 16, was last reconstructed by MassHighway as an Urban Systems project in the early 1980s with little regard to users other than through traffic.
The proposed project will transform the corridor into a Complete Street. The pavement surface will be rehabilitated by pavement milling and overlay with limited areas of additional patching where necessary. The roadway will be reconfigured to provide one travel lane and one 5-foot-wide on-street bicycle lane in each direction, left turn bays at selected intersections, bus turnouts, curb extensions at selected locations to shorten crossing distances, and wider sidewalks with additional green spaces and green infrastructure. Among the benefits are:
• Increased efficiency on the MBTA route 71 trackless trolley due to improved traffic operations and the potential for transit signal priority and/or queue jump lanes. The project is coordinating with the MBTA and the DCR Fresh Pond/Mt. Auburn Street corridor study.
Discussions with the MBTA include replacement of overhead catenary wires, which will improve bus operations by reducing breakdowns. Bus stop locations were previously studied as part of the MBTA Priority bus route program and will be revisited as needed.
• Wider sidewalks for pedestrians, including shorter crossing distances through the use of bump-outs, and improved pedestrian signal equipment. Pedestrian visibility at mid-block crosswalks will be improved using bump-outs, warning signage, and flashing beacons, where warranted.
• Bicycle travel time and connectivity to the regional bicycle network would be improved by the addition of bicycle lanes to the corridor, as well as signage directing bicyclists to other on- and off-street bicycle routes, including the Watertown Community Path andWatertown-Cambridge Greenway. Providing bicycle facil ities on the road will significantly improve safety for the estimated 360 bicyclists that travel the corridor daily.
National Grid Gas Main Replacement Program
The DPW works with National Grid to coordinate gas main replacements in advance of planned utility and road reconstruction work.
As requested by the Town Council, the DPW has prepared a concept plan for improvements at How Park. The proposed work would include providing an ADA-compliant entrance from Bacon Street, resurfacing of the area, and slope stabilization.
Edenfield Avenue Green Streets
Working with the Charles River Watershed Association, and with partial funding from EPA, the Town is reconstructing Edenfield Ave. using a “green streets” approach. The road is currently 34-feet in width, which is exceedingly wide for a residential street. In accordance with Town policies, we will be providing a “road diet” for the street whereby the width is reduced to 26-feet. This will allow for a reduction in impervious area, better aesthetics for the neighborhood, and traffic calming.
As part of the greening, the Town will be installing stormwater management systems to permit percolation of stormwater into the ground and pollutant reduction.
Belmont Street Planning and Design
DPW is coordinating with the City of Cambridge to reconstruct Belmont Street, between Francis Street and Mount Auburn Street. The goal of the project will be to extend the “complete streets” design of Belmont Street, from the end of the Trapelo Road/Belmont Street project completed by MassDOT and the Town of Belmont.
Note that Belmont Street is owned and maintained by the City of Cambridge, who is managing the project.
MassDOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program
MassDOT is funding safety improvements at two locations in Watertown: Pleasant Street at Howard Street and Main Street at Thaxter Street/Post Office.
Town Hall/Post Office Crosswalk Improvements: A mid-block crosswalk is located on Main Street and connects Town Hall, the library, the post office and an MBTA bus stop.
The crosswalk receives heavy pedestrian use and suffers from poor visibility and high traffic volumes. These conditions lead to poor compliance by vehicles at the crosswalk.
The Town seeks to install a bump out and pedestrian activated rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) at this location. The RRFB has been successfully installed at two other locations in Town. The proposed work would include drainage improvements, new curbing, new handicapped accessible ramps, thermoplastic in-laid crosswalk, and solar powered RRBD installation.
Pleasant Street at Howard Street: This crosswalk serves the terminus of the Watertown Community Path and provides and important access point to the DCR trails along the Charles River. Howard Street serves as an important connector between Main Street and Pleasant Street serving the industrial and heavy commercial uses in the area.
There is poor vehicular compliance at the crosswalk, due in part to the geometry of Pleasant Street and building locations. The Town worked with MassDOT to review the intersection and the installation of a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) was recommended.
Arsenal Street Corridor Study
DPW has participated in the Arsenal Street Corridor Study, initiated by MassDOT. Additional information can be found at the MassDOT web-site: