WINCHESTER - Thanks to the assistance of Toole Design Group, the Town of Winchester now has a good idea how to tackle all the roadwork, bridge work projects upcoming this summer and over the next few years.
According to Toole’s Erica Guidoboni, Project Engineer, their plan calls for a “multi-pronged approach.” Several of the projects will overlap due to the sheer number of total projects. Four of the projects could begin once school ends in late June.
According to the proposed timeline, work at Main Street and Highland Avenue would begin first, in the beginning of April. Following that would be roadwork at Main Street at Washington Street and Mystic Valley Parkway at Waterfield Road (both projects part of the McCall School Traffic Study). The McCall School project would begin once school ended in the summer.
The most time consuming work involves bridge repairs on Waterfield Road, Swanton Street and Lake Street. Each project could last several months with the Swanton Street Bridge work poised to last eight months unless the town chooses to close the entire bridge. In that event, work could begin and end in the fall of this year. A partial closure would push the finish line to July of 2021.
The Lake Street Bridge project, because it won’t begun until later this year, will also finish in 2021, in either August or July depending on whether the town fully or partially closes the bridge.
All three bridge projects received Town Meeting support with the Swanton Street Bridge of utmost importance as it is the penultimate flood mitigation project for the town.
Finally, there are two other projects on the schedule, but both are out of the town’s control: MBTA work at the Winchester Center Train Station and the Eversource 115kV line electrical project. The town and Toole expects the MBTA work to last nearly three years (assuming it ever gets started, as Town Manager Lisa Wong noted another delay has arisen). If it begins this year, it could wrap up by October of 2023.
For the Eversource project, the company appears to be moving their way through neighboring communities. Therefore, it isn’t yet known when they’ll reach Winchester or how long it’ll take to finish (though according to a Memorandum of Understanding between Eversource and the town, it must be completed in 18-months).
There will of course be traffic impacts to motorists, and even pedestrians with the Swanton Street Bridge project.
As Town Engineer Beth Rudolph stated, “there’s no way around it.”
This is especially true the more the projects overlap; however, Guidoboni mentioned bundling some of the projects to save money. The town has done this before, recently with the culvert work and remediation at Skillings Field.
When Select Board member Amy Shapiro asked about firm start dates, Rudolph said the Main Street at Highland Avenue project had already gone out to bid, but the others were still in the design phase (though some are nearing the end). She added the Waterfield Bridge project is ready to go.
Safe to say it’s going to be a busy summer in Winchester.