Published July 7, 2021
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The DPW is gearing up for a busy construction season this summer.
Town Engineer Charlie Richter recently appeared before the Select Board in order to give an overview of the roads that will be repaved this summer. He noted that some of the projects will be completed next spring.
“The Lynnfield Department of Public Works will be working to improve numerous areas within the town during the 2021 construction year,” Richter stated in a memo sent to the Select Board. “There are numerous factors that are looked at to determine which roads are good candidates for resurfacing and reconstruction. These factors include the condition of existing utilities like drainage, gas and water, level of traffic on the road, cost of repairs, condition of curbing and sidewalks, type of pavement defects, type of repair needed and the estimated life of road.”
The road improvement projects will be funded by $350,000 that Town Meeting approved as part of the fiscal year 2022 capital budget as well as Chapter 90 funds from the state. The House of Representatives recently voted to award the town $406,241 as part of a Chapter 90 bond bill. The state Senate approved a Chapter 90 bill on July 1. Both bills are headed for a conference committee because the Senate approved a slightly larger Chapter 90 appropriation.
Richter told the Select Board that the portion of Summer Street from Taylor Terrace to Elliot Road will be repaved as part of a mill and overlay project. He said National Grid will be contributing $190,190 for this road improvement project because the utility company repaired gas leaks in the area last year.
“I am sure everyone will appreciate it,” said Richter. “It’s a bumpy road right now, but it will be in pretty good shape when we are done. We are also planning on doing some sidewalk improvements over there. The tripping hazards will be removed.”
Richter also said the DPW will be reconfiguring the Summer Street and Walnut Street intersection in order to make it safer for pedestrians crossing the street.
“We know that is a dangerous intersection,” said Richter.
Richter said Timberhill Lane and Timberhill Terrace will both be resurfaced.
“We are also planning to improve a culvert as part of a capital project that we requested funds for last year,” said Richter. “We will be doing that work late this summer. In conjunction with that work, we will be resurfacing Timberhill Lane and Timberhill Terrace, both of which won’t be completed until 2022. It will be a vast improvement from where it stands right now.”
Richter said all of Juniper Road will be repaved as part of a mill and overlay project. He said the portion of Hart Road from 9 Hard Rd. to the end of the street will be repaved.
The town engineer also said the portion of Chestnut Street from Hart Road to Townsend Road will be repaved.
“The road has serious defects in it that we have been addressing over the years,” said Richter. “This is part of a several year process.”
Richter said the DPW will be updating its pavement management system as well.
“That system is about five-years-old,” said Richter. “Unfortunately, streets don’t age in a linear fashion, so it’s important to have that updated every few years.”
Select Board Chairman Dick Dalton asked how the DPW determines which roads get repaved during each construction season.
“We hired BETA Engineering to rate all of the streets in town,” said Richter. “We have a list from worst to best. We start working at the top of the list and work our way down. We have picked off dozens of streets over the years. Every fall and winter, we look at the top 40 worst streets in town. We prioritize them based on the amount of vehicles that travel on the street and the location of the utility work we have for those streets.”
In response to a question from Dalton, Richter said BETA Engineering will be tasked with updating the pavement management system.
“We will have an updated list,” said Richter.
Richter said the DPW will be installing radar feedback signs around town as well.
“We have gotten a lot of input since we installed the radar feedback signs on Walnut Street and over at the schools,” said Richter. “We want to continue that program in order to address some speeding concerns people have around town.”
Richter also said the DPW will be installing a drainage system on Maple Street. He said the DPW will be working with the Lynnfield Water District as part of that project because the LWD will be replacing a water main.
Select Board member Phil Crawford expressed his support for the various road improvement projects.
“I am glad that we are still doing as many streets that we can,” said Crawford.
The Select Board unanimously voted to accept the road-paving program.
Richter also noted during a recent “Town Talk” episode that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will be installing a traffic island on Carpenter Road.
“There is an intersection over there with Route 1 that has been dangerous for people exiting and entering the street,” said Richter. “The state is planning on installing an island over there to keep people on the right side of the road.”
Richter also said MassDOT will be installing pavement markings on Green Street in order to “help people merge onto Route 1.” “As people know, Green Street is a very tight intersection that can be very challenging with the merging of Route 95 there at the same time,” said Richter.