Water-sewer project falls slightly behind schedule

A major on-going water-sewer replacement and roadway reconstruction project in the, area of Putnam, Fremont and Jefferson streets and Putnam Place is running slightly behind schedule according to Public Works Director Dave Hickey but progress has been made overall and he is optimistic that the main parts of the project will be completed by late July.

“We had a target date to complete the sewer project on Putnam Street and Putnam Place by the end of June and we are still shooting for that,” said Hickey, who did add that it will be difficult to complete that sewer project and close up the roadway with a smooth coat of pavement by June 30.

“On Jefferson and Fremont streets, we are still on schedule to complete the water main replacement and road reconstruction by the end of July,” said Hickey. “In that case, the water main that we shut down, was planned for an upgrade from a 6-inch main to an 8-inch main, and when we pulled up the old main, we found that mineral deposits inside that old line were worse than we had anticipated. So residents there will likely see a major improvement in their water pressure when the new main is brought on line.”

Hickey said that an added benefit of that additional water pressure is that the Winthrop Fire Department will also be better able to fight fires in that neighborhood, if the need ever arises as a result of this water main replacement.

“We’re very happy that we decided to upgrade that pipe and work there has progressed pretty well so far,” he said.

The delays on the Putnam Street and Putnam Place end of the project are partly “legitimate issues” as Hickey noted and partly due to some inconsistency on the part of the contractor, Cape Ann Equipment.

“Everything is pretty much in on that project, with the exception of two sewer structures, one is being delayed because we are waiting for National grid to come out and move some conduit and another is a specialty structure that we’re waiting to be delivered,” said Hickey. “But we’re not overly excited about the pace of the work on the job. We would’ve liked for it to be done by now and that was the plan. But the progress of the work has been sporadic at times, where they’ve dome really well some weeks and not so well on other weeks.”

Hickey said that once the two water-sewer replacements are completed the streets will all get new surfaces, with all but the final topcoat going down by the end of July.

“The roads will all be buttoned up and there will be a smooth driving surface and then we’ll come back and do the final topcoat in October or November,” said Hickey.

The $1 million project is being funded through a combination of grants and low-cost bonds available through the MWRA.

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