It is time to catch up on a number of projects and efforts that are underway.

Road Paving and Complete Street Intersection Improvements: Paving bids are due next week.  Roads targeted for repaving this fall include Mosses Hill and, if pricing is favorable, Rockwood Heights. We also included in the paving bids the four complete street projects.  

These four projects received no bids earlier this year when we sought pricing on the projects.  We received permission to extend the deadline for expending the grant funds we received for the projects and are hoping to get prices this time around since we have paired it with the larger street paving work. Final decisions on the complete street intersection designs and work will be made by the Selectmen once we have actual bids on the baseline layouts.  It is unlikely we have sufficient funds to do all four complete street projects. The Washington/Sea/Summer Streets intersection may be the one that goes forward at this time given funding limitations and community acceptance. 

Sewer Pipe Lining:  The extensive work over the last five years to reduce the amount of unwanted rain and ground water into our sewer pipes is winding down with the last large project being the re-lining of the “harbor loop.” This sewer pipe along the edge of the inner harbor, servicing homes along Central Street and Ashland Avenue, experiences seawater surge every high tide.  The new lining will eliminate this saltwater intrusion. The work is the last on the list of projects mandated by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade our sewer collection system. All told, we have eliminated tens of thousands of gallons of unwanted water, freeing up significant capacity at our waste water treatment plant. 

Water Pipe Replacement Work:  A new contract will be executed soon for the replacement of undersized water lines on Magnolia Avenue, Raymond Street and the remaining half of Ocean Street. This $1.5 million project will enhance flows and provide better water service to the eastern end of town, our most problematic section of town. The work will take place this fall. Impacted residents will be receiving more details as we get closer to a construction start date.  

Central Street Dam and the Central (Mill) Pond:  Engineering work continues on the proposed dam and culvert replacement project.  We are entering the permitting phase which will take the better part of a year to complete as both state and federal agencies are involved.  Efforts to restore the stream and seawalls of the old Mill Pond have slowed as we were not awarded grant funds to begin the next phase of additional design work and permitting.  However, we have another opportunity to submit another grant proposal that will enable us to continue. We hope to hear about renewed funding by the end of the year.

Memorial School Construction:  Work continues on schedule for this large construction project. With school now in session there is more awareness of the project.  Managing a major work site on the same grounds of a functioning school poses many challenges but so far so good — a credit to the contractor and school administration/staff.

As these updates show, we continue to pursue an aggressive effort to improve our aging infrastructure.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or follow additional updates on the Town’s website.