WINCHESTER - National Grid, replacing pipe in the area of Holton, Cross and East streets near the Woburn line, sought approval by the Winchester Select Board to work in that intersection for up to 10 nights from 7 p.m. - 3 a.m. Fearing concerns by neighbors, the board chose to revisit the topic at its next meeting on July 1 and invite the neighborhood to weigh in.
Winchester DPW Director Jay Gill suggested the town would be better served if National Grid completed work in that area during the overnight hours. If not, it could be a hassle for drivers in the area, as National Grid said they’d have to close down all but one lane for traffic.
Although National Grid asked for 10 nights, Shayne Charlesworth, National Grid foreman, said his crew could probably get the job done in four nights. It would only be weeknights; Charlesworth said they can’t work on weekends on holidays.
When asked what type of work would be done, he said mainly construction work which would involve digging trenches and using lights. He added he’d give the Winchester DPW a week’s (or two week’s or whatever the town required) notice before starting. He also said he could notify neighbors now that National Grid will eventually start work in that area (if not at night, it’ll get done during the morning/afternoon).
“Without night work it could last twice as long,” Charlesworth said.
Because it’s such a busy intersection, National Grid will backfill the trench each night with sand, gravel and a layer of asphalt.
Town Manager Lisa Wong, speaking on behalf of Winchester Fire Chief John Nash, asked if National Grid would block access to the street. Charlesworth said they would have one lane available for traffic.
When asked by Select Board Chair Mariano Goluboff about cutting the hours back to midnight instead of 3 a.m., Charlesworth said it could add another two days onto their work schedule.
It’s unfortunate for an area Select Board member Michael Bettencourt referred to as “ground zero for construction” that neighbors will have to suffer more. To ease some of their burden, he suggested weekend hours. Wong suggested possibly working July 4.
Charlesworth shot down the possibility of working July 4 and added how he’d have to talk to his boss about working on weekends. The board suggested having his boss come in at the July 1 meeting.