The list of streets that will be repaved in 2018 was revealed by the Public Works Department on Wednesday night, with several making the list, but others not making it this year.
The town bonds $2.5 million a year to pay for street and sidewalk repair. Watertown also receives Chapter 90 money from the state and uses some funds from the water and sewer enterprise funds when the project has expenses related to water and sewer work.
The condition of the road is an important component when making the decision for which roads to repave each year, said Town Engineer Matt Shuman, but that is not the only factor. DPW officials also go around town and observe conditions of the roads and sidewalks, and they listen to input from the public. Another factor is whether the street needs to have utility work, which would shorten the life of a road if done after repaving, said DPW Superintendent Gerry Mee.
The DPW also tries to pick projects in different areas of town. They roughly break up the town into four areas: north, south, east and west.
The list of roads for 2018 were presented to the Town Council’s Public Works subcommittee, and those streets are:
Everett Avenue (from Bartlett to Palfrey)
Some residents came to ask about their areas, and wondered if their roads would make the lists, including Bellevue Road and Riverside Street. Members of the subcommittee said they were asked about Fayette Street and Marion Road.
The streets on the list not only are in bad shape, Shuman said, but also recently had or will soon have utility work done, which may have contributed to the poor condition.
The roads that will have utility work done in 2018 are:
Water main replacement: Priest Road, Edgecliff Road, Westland Road, Woodleigh Road, Hazel Street (from Laurel to Dexter) and Bellevue Road.
Sewer and drain repairs: Arden Road, Chauncey Street (from Mt. Auburn to Hancock) and Maplewood Street (School to Commonwealth)
The DPW will also be coordinating or preparing for some major road projects.
The one coming first will be the reconstruction of lower Common Street, which includes the addition of a round about at the intersection with Orchard and Church streets, and reconfiguring the intersection with Spring Street. Work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2017 with some water work, Shuman said.
Roadwork around Hosmer School, which is part of the Safe Routes to School state program, will begin in the spring of 2018, Shuman said.
Officials are planning to make some major changes in Watertown Square, and there will be a meeting on Oct. 30 for members of the public to give their input. A consultant recommended removing Charles River Road from the intersection, but Shuman said that is not set in stone.
Other work to be done on Arsenal Street will be part of the I-Cubed program, and will start in the near future. The work will include reconfiguring the road to make bike lanes wider.
Down the road will be one of the biggest road projects in town: the renovation of Mount Auburn Street. The current proposal calls for reducing the road from two lanes each way to one, with turning lanes at major intersections to allow traffic to keep flowing. Mee said that design has not been finalized. The Public Works subcommittee will discuss the project at a meeting on Nov. 20. The project is on the list to receive the state’s TIP funding in 2022.
2017 Street Repairs
The subcommittee also got an update about the current year’s list of street repairs.
Streets that have been completed are Hovey Street, Knowles Road, Holly Street and Whitcomb Street.
Work on Waltham Street and Irma Avenue is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.
Two projects will not be finished until the spring of 2018 are Cushman Street and Edenfield Avenue.
Councilor Susan Falkoff said she has heard from residents of Edenfield, which was narrowed significantly. They worry that fire trucks will have trouble getting down the street. Mee said that even after the narrowing, Edenfield will be wider than most streets in town. The average width of a street in Watertown is 25 feet, while Edenfield will be 26 feet wide. Shuman added that the Fire Department was consulted during the planning of the project.