Archive for the ‘Stoneham MA’ Category

MWRA To Begin Consruction of Water Storage Tank in Stoneham June 1st

MWRA to Begin Construction of Water Storage Tank in Stoneham June 1 – By Mark Ouellette

Work on the Spot Pond tank project is expected to get underway June 1, according to Town Administrator David Ragucci.   

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) is expected to begin construction of the Spot Pond water tank June 1, according to Town Administrator David Ragucci.

“They will be working on that tank until the completion date, anticipating compeltion of the tank sometime in the fall of 2014,” Ragucci said during Tuesday night’s Selectmen’s session at Stoneham Town Hall. The MWRA has said they expect to complete the project in late 2014, according to a press statement.

Addressing Safety

Stoneham police have met with several agencies about the traffic in and around the construction site, including State Police, Department of Conservation and Recreation, MWRA and the Department of Transportation’s Highway Divisions, according to Ragucci.

“There’s going to be a lot of truck traffic coming in and out of that property for quite some time in removing the dirt, and then bringing cement trucks back in to fill the container,” Ragucci said. “The truck route is going to travel through Stoneham down to the (Middlesex) Fells, North Road, South Border Road to get up on (Route) 93, and then they would be coming back that same way.”

Selectman John DePinto said he wants to make sure the area stay safe while construction vehicles are working in town.

“I would like our police department, if we have the resources, to make sure those roads remain safe,” DePinto said. “No overweight trucks, no speeding. Those trucks, when they’re loaded, they go (fast) and that’s a busy roadway…and you don’t want to get in an accident with one of those trucks, especially when the cement starts coming in.”

What’s Being Built

The MWRA is constructing a 20-million-gallon water storage tank and pump station behind the site of the former Boston Regional Medical Center on Woodland Road in Stoneham, reads th statement.

“The new water storage tank is required to meet state and federal drinking water regulations and MWRA’s goal of providing at least a one-day emergency supply of stored water,” reads the statement.

The underground, concrete tank will provide water storage for MWRA’s Low Service area, which includes Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford and Somerville, according to the statement. The pump station will provide system redundancy for 21 communities currently served by the Gillis Pump Station, including Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester and Woburn, the statement adds.

“When the project is completed in late fall 2014, the design calls for upland meadows to be planted on top of the buried tank, which would provide additional open space and public access adjacent to the Fells Reservation,” reads the statement.

Who is Doing the Construction?

MWRA’s contractor, Walsh Construction Company, is currently completing site preparation before beginning construction, according to the press statement.

When is Excavation Happening?

The project is expected to required “considerable excavation” for six to eight months during the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the statement.

“Once the excavation is complete, truck traffic will decline, but appropriate public safety measures will remain in place,” reads the statement. “MWRA and Walsh Construction have been working closely with the Massachusetts State Police and the Department of Conservation and Recreation to develop an efficient and reliable traffic management plan to ensure the safety of the drivers and pedestrians using the adjacent roads and streets.

“A designated truck route has been established, and message boards and signage will be placed along Woodland Road to guide travelers.” 

Throughout the construction period, access in and out of the Woodland Road Medical Building will be limited to the south driveway, reads the statement. The north entrance will only be accessible to construction vehicles, according to the statement, and signage will be put up at the entrances.

The MWRA will provide regular updates on its website, according to the statement.

Reminder for those in the MWRA – RE High Fells Reservoir in Stoneham

The MMRA is reminding everyone – not to swim in at the High Fells Reservoir in Stoneham. Please read below.
Summer is here and with the warm weather, people head to the local swimming hole to beat the heat. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority wants to remind residents that swimming is not allowed at the High Fells Reservoir in Stoneham.

MWRA’s primary concern is public safety. The Fells has many rock outcroppings and swimmers who are tired or hit their heads while diving are a long way from emergency medical help. The facility is not staffed and there are no lifeguards on duty. There have been fatalities at this site in the past and more recently at nearby Spot Pond.

Protection of the public water supply is also critical. The covered storage tank was constructed as part of MWRA’s $1.7 billion program to modernize the water system, and was put into service in 1998. This facility provides the drinking water for Melrose, Saugus, Stoneham, and Wakefield. However, the open reservoir, constructed in 1899, still serves as an important component of the MWRA’s emergency water supply system.  In an emergency situation, the reservoir could be put into service as a drinking water supply in a very short time. Swimmers and dogs in the water pose a real threat to water quality.  

The MWRA recognizes that the Fells is a valued recreational resource in the area and has worked closely with local communities over the years to maintain a balanced use of this beautiful site that allows accessibility while protecting the public water supply. Illegal swimming has resulted in vandalism, damage to fencing, trash left at the reservoir, and fires.

The MWRA has asked the Massachusetts State Police to increase their patrols of this critical facility during the summer. The MWRA also needs the help of local residents to ensure public safety and protect public health.

Please call the MWRA’s 24-hour Security Hotline at 877-697-6972 to report swimming or any other harmful behavior.

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