EAST LONGMEADOW – The Department of Public Works (DPW) is gearing up for its summer roadwork season, which would include a $1 million project for six main roadways in town.
DPW Superintendent Robert Peirent told Reminder Publications approximately $1.5 million in state aid that was approved by residents on Article 7 of the Annual Town Meeting warrant will be used be the DPW’s source of funding for the next 18 months.
“It included our fiscal [year] 2015 appropriation, which began at $581,752, but then after Gov. [Charlie] Baker took office, he released an additional $100 million [throughout the Commonwealth] that had been approved previously, but never been released,” he added.
The DPW also received $87,262 in pot hole repair money and $588,442 in Chapter 90 funding for fiscal year 2016 (FY16), he noted. The state legislature moved quicker than usual this year to authorize the FY16 funding.
Town Engineer Daniel Murphy said Lane Construction of Westfield was awarded the bid for the $1 million roadwork project, which would includes small sections of full “reclamations” with a majority of roads receiving milling treatments.
Milling entails grinding the top layer of pavement, reshaping the roadway, to create a “nice even surface,” he explained. The excess material is ground up and reused for other projects.
A reclamation job is similar to rototilling – the entire pavement is ground up and then blended into the gravel material below the roadway to a depth of a foot or a foot and a half, Peirent said.
“Contractors have just been hired, so we don’t have a detailed schedule yet, but we anticipate that this work would start within the next month or two maximum with most of the work being done during the summer,” he added.
Murphy said roadways that need repairs the most include Westwood Avenue near Voyer Avenue and an area near a culvert on North Main Street.
Two roadways that need repairs – Maple Shade Avenue and Hampden Road – have entrances near schools and are anticipated to be completed by August 15, he added.
Peirent said for most of the roadwork there would be temporary “day-time detours” possibly for a day or two at most locations.
The DPW will also be sealing cracks for about four miles of road throughout the town, including Hampden Road, North Main Street, and Prospect Street, Murphy said. These projects are anticipated to finish on June 30.
“The total mileage on the roads that we’re doing is about 4.25 miles to be paved, milled, reclaimed, all of it,” he added.
The DPW will also begin work on renovations to Town Hall this fall and winter.
Residents recently approved a $30,000 project to replace the town hall’s antiquated switch gear and a $124,000 Phase 1 renovation, which includes improvements to portions of the first floor, Peirent said.
He added that the renovation would include improvements to the hallway where the town accountant and the Board of Selectmen’s office is located as well as “completely gutting and renovating” two public restrooms on the first floor.
This phase of the project would be completed in-house by the DPW, he noted. However, if additional phases were approved at future Town Meetings, they would likely have to go out to bid for outside contractors.
Peirent said proposed future renovations may include improvements to fire sprinkler systems or an elevator.
The DPW will also be working with the Recreation Department to implement an engineering study of recreational fields at Heritage Park that was approved at the 2015 Annual Town Meeting for $25,000, Peirent said.
“That’ll be something we’ll likely be kicking off, I would think, through the summer and the fall,” he added.