Town Rebidding 2019 Road Projects, Announces Roads Being Repaired in 2020

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Charlie Breitrose

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

A road being repaired in Watertown.

A higher than expected bid delayed the road repairs in Watertown in 2019, but they Town will seek to do both those roads and another eight in 2020.

Tuesday night, the Town Council approved funding for construction of the 2019 projects, and also heard the recommended roads to be reconstructed in 2020.

When the Town went to bid on the 2019 roads repair projects in May, only one firm bid on the work and it came in $693,000 (33.1 percent) over the $2.5 million budget, said Department of Public Works Superintendent Gerry Mee.

This time, the bids will go out in December, ahead of other municipal road projects, and the work will be split up. The underground utility work will be removed from the roadwork contract, and bid separately, Mee said, because not all firms that do street and sidewalks also do utilities. Mee said the plan is to start the work in the spring of 2020.

The roads on the 2019 list are: Bellevue Road (from Channing Road to Common Street), Avon Road, Chandler Street, Burnham Street, Bridgham Avenue, Nichols Avenue (from Dexter Avenue to Boylston Street), and Bartlett Street (including Everett Avenue).

2020 Road Repair List

The Town got an earlier start on the 2020 road repair program, with the Council’s Public Works subcommittee receiving the recommendations for the roads to be worked on in 2020 from DPW officials in August. In past years the recommendations were made in the late fall or early winter.

There will be seven local roads, and for the first time this year money has been set aside for a longer road, also called a collector road, to be repaired.

The seven local roads are:

  • Kimball Road
  • Downey Street
  • Wheeler Lane
  • Louise Street
  • Frank Street
  • Tappan Avenue
  • Piermont Street

The longer/collector road” is Waverley Avenue between Belmont Street and Orchard Street.

Councilor Anthony Donato said other roads had been discussed at the DPW subcommittee meeting in August (including Morse Street and Highland Avenue), and wondered if Waverley was the final choice. Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli confirmed that Waverley would be the longer road repaired in 2020.

The 2020 road list will be bid separately from the 2019 roads, according to the DPW report. See the slide presentation by clicking here.

During the subcommittee meeting, Councilor Tony Palomba asked about how streets are selected for the sidewalk repair contract. Mee stated that the highway supervisor has a running list of the worst areas to repair, but this is subject to change based on actual conditions and the available funds, so it is not possible to identify them ahead of time, however the DPW can identify which streets were done in the previous year, according to the report from the meeting.

Another factor for choosing the streets to be repaired is whether the underground utilities have been replaced. In the DPW’s presentation, it was noted that the following work has been done, or will be done: water main projects on Piermont Street and Tappan Avenue; sewer and drain repairs on Wheeler Lane; and NStar utility work on Frank Street, Wheeler Road and Kimball Road, as well as Lexington Street.

4 thoughts on “Town Rebidding 2019 Road Projects, Announces Roads Being Repaired in 2020

  1. Any plans to make up for the lost year of construction? Prices almost never go down and our roads are getting worse by the day.

    • I think the theory is that when the town got the bid over the price it was during a time of year that was favorable for contractors, but if the town bid in December it will be a time when contractors are looking for work.

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