Summer has arrived with sudden force! The wet, cold spring has finally given way to beach and boating weather. A record crowd at Singing Beach last Sunday kept the beach staff extremely busy. The crew did an excellent job keeping everyone safe and enjoying the sun, sand, and water – well done despite the challenging crowds! And Harbormaster Bion Pike also was very busy with boaters taking advantage of the hot weekend – again accident free though many reminders of good boating practices were needed (remember boaters, rafting at town docks is not allowed as the channel is simply too narrow!)
Summer also means a busy construction season. The Town has four major projects underway focused on road repaving, sewer pipe work, water valve and hydrant work and sewer pump station work. A fifth project, replacing an undersized water main on Lincoln Street, will get underway later this summer.
Road paving has been delayed by the cold, wet spring, but our contractor, Brox Paving, started this week on the sorely needed work on Pine Street. The road is being ground down and new layers of asphalt will be put down. This work will be completed by July 4th assuming the weather cooperates. Other paving projects to be done this summer include Jersey Lane, Tuck’s Point, and the intersections at Beach/Summer and Forest/Ancient County Way. Smoothing out the stretch of Summer Street at the railway overpass is planned. And skim coats are planned for Bridge and School Streets along with proper restriping.
Numerous broken water valves and hydrants are being replaced throughout town. Jones Construction is doing this work for us. The new valves will enable us to better manage the water system and isolate smaller areas if water line breaks occur, lessening the impacts of a break. Replaced hydrants improve our fire safety as well as our flushing program. The work will cause water service disruptions in the vicinity of the work. Water outage notices of more than a few hours will be placed on doors a day or two before the outage.
Sewer work includes continued refurbishing of manholes, replacing rattling manhole covers, as well as replacing leaking pipes that allow unwanted rain water, groundwater, or sea water into the sewer treatment plant (during high tides small sea critters find their way into the sewer plant!) Dash Drains has been hired to do this work which is underway for the next few months. Removing the unwanted water is a state requirement, frees up plant capacity, and reduces our operating costs.
The other sewer work that is underway is the replacement of the sewer pumps and the installation of back-up power at the pumping stations located on Ashland Avenue, the corner of Rockwood Heights and Pine Street, and on Old Essex Road. These pump stations are critical pieces of the sewer system and have been nursed along well past their useful life. The complete refurbishment, being done by Weston and Sampson, will mean more efficient operations and a major reduction in emergency call-outs caused by the old pumps failing to work.
While construction projects inevitably cause inconveniences, they are part of our renewed efforts to ensure our infrastructure will serve our needs for many years to come. Voter support and patience as we undertake these projects is appreciated. Weekly project updates can be found at the DWP page of the Town’s website.