Council Approves Road Work Funds, Two Years of Repairs Will be Done

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Watertown will get a double dose of road repair projects this year after the Town Council approved funding for the 2020 road and sidewalk repair projects.

Tuesday night, the Town Council approved the borrowing of $2.5 million to pay for the reconstruction of seven roadways. This is on top of the 2019 road projects, which were delayed after the bids came in about 33 percent higher than was budgeted.

Town Engineer Matt Shuman said the roads will undergo full-depth reclamation, where the top four inches of the roadway are removed, ground and pulverized and put down in a new layer of asphalt. They will also install new sidewalks with handicap ramps and granite curbing.

The seven roads to be repaired as part of the 2020 road program are: Kimball Road, Downey Street, Wheeler Lane, Louise Street, Frank Street, Tappan Avenue and Piermont Street.

In addition, before he left for another job, the Tree Warden approved locations for 10 street trees on the streets, Shuman said.

The town reached out to residents on the streets that will be repaired to tell them about upcoming changes to the road, Shuman said. The Department of Public works also replaced substandard water services to homes and hydrants.

The projects were bid earlier than previous years, said Town Council President Mark Sideris.

“By us being able to do this in February, the bids were more competitive and more people were bidding,” Sideris said.

He added that when the Town bid the 2019 road projects it only resulted in one bidder, who came in well over budget.

“We can’t be putting bids out in July and August when the construction season is almost over,” Sideris said.

Shuman said the 2019 road projects were rebid after the Council approved funding. 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).

The winning bidder was the same for not only the 2019 and 2020 road projects, but also the Common Street project, said Shuman.

“We noted how important it is, even though there are multiple projects, they can’t do one at a time,” Shuman said. “They need to make progress on all the projects.”

The Council also approved funds for repairing longer roads in town. Councilor Tony Palomba asked about the repaving of Waverley Avenue. Shuman said the project is still being studied.

“It is in the data gathering phase right now,” Shuman said “We will perform a street survey, a land survey for the area. We have collected speed and volume data for traffic, and we are looking to do some parking counts. We will develop some concepts to bring forward for the street.”

26 thoughts on “Council Approves Road Work Funds, Two Years of Repairs Will be Done

  1. I didn’t see Route 16, MT Auburn street on the list for last year’s or this year’s plan is that the reason of it being more of a state Road or what ?

      • How can there be plans that MT Auburn will be become one lane?, that’s ridiculous the amount of traffic there is ? Every time I travel on Arsenal St on my way to work I have a fear I’ll side swipe the parked vehicles along the street you gave just enough room which it seems a foot on each side not to excuse the residents and the businesses along that street I’m sure they aren’t pleased what just to make these stupid two lane bicycle routes ? I’ve only seen my first bike on this street for the first time just recently .

        • I’m with you Anthony L. on the side swiping issue on Arsenal St.
          I have had more than 1 occasion where I am traveling tword the mall from the square and a door pops open and scares the heck out of me.
          Arsonal St. is no longer a safe street to dive down.

  2. One lane each way on Mount Auburn Street is beyond ludicrous. This is being done far too often and mostly for bicycles of which there are few and many of those ride on the sidewalks even when there is a bike lane. Vehicles are the ones that are paying the taxes for the roads and yet are being left by the side of the road with all of this lunacy.

    • Personally if given a choice, I’d much rather deal with potholes and ruts rather than
      sacrificing the current configuration to make way for bike lanes any day of the week.

  3. How about finishing up pleasant St, it is a total mess !!!What did you run out of money to finish???Why do you have 10 projects going at once with all the all over town, that’s how it looks??? Too much, this town is turning into such a mess& so congested!!! You people are Condo Crazy too!! You do know that some sts. are banding together, neighbors& removing trees!! They do damage to wires, roofs& personal property.Go out to Sudbury, or Weston, for your trees,! This is a town, for local action, not looking at trees !! Tree lovers, start yelling !!!

  4. How about Irving Street? Yikes. And why are we borrowing for repairs? We should have gotten more mitigation from developers. A lot of our roads are a mess because of construction activity.

  5. reminder that you all can complain directly to the town via this app:

    PS, Highland st was torn up for gas work a few years ago and poorly patched. We all assumed it was just until the project was over, then they would come through and pave it properly. Many years later, my suspension is blown out thanks to the town of watertown, for which im a tax payer!!!

  6. On these future projects I hope when the sidewalks are done along with the streets that they hold up better than Waltham St., which were done in 2017. Many of the sidewalks had to be done over again in 2018 as they were already pitting. It was said that this was due to people putting ice melt products on them and no one I know put any product. It was due to the road salt being applied by the trucks on the streets and many of this was spread onto the sidewalks. The sidewalks are pitting again! We were told that the contractor was no longer liable. And if you look around at the red brick-like crossing areas on the new street, they started breaking up very soon after being put into place. I don’t know if they are still the go-to product for future products, but they are not holding up well.

  7. I’m waiting to see what they’re going to do with Nichols Ave.
    If they put curbing in they’ll have to eliminate parking on one side AND
    make it a one way street.

    Just pave it, forego any curbing, and let residents utilize the street the same way
    they’ve been using it for ages without any problems.

  8. I have lived on Fayette St. almost 40years and have never had a sidewalk redone.
    The road way has never been done right either between Pearl and Whites Ave. as it was raised up 8″ too high when it was done 40 years ago.
    Winter St. (behind the library and town hall) sidewalks have turned into rubble long ago also.
    Why are these streets always ignored? no one seems to care if it’s not their street.
    What does a person have to do to get things done that shouldn’t even have to be asked for? To have these streets ignored for decades means somebody is not doing their job the way they should. Any idea of who that might be Mr. town manager?

  9. We live in a school zone and don’t even have sidewalks on one side of the street. The town just put new side walks on the other side if the street but never did the other side. Even with one new sidewalk people still walk in the street all the time. It is very difficult to see people walking in the street at night. If you have to walk on the street at night please wear high visibility clothing and yield to cars or get on the sidewalk.

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