The Essex Street Utility and Roadway Improvement Project is set to start construction on July 8, and will encompass Essex Street from Pearl Street to Highland Street, and Highland Street from Marginal Street to Maverick Street.
Essex Street currently has utility lines that date back to as old as 1906.
As utility infrastructure ages, the integrity of the materials start to deteriorate which can cause utility breaks, leaks and other issues. These problems can create above ground issues such as sinkholes, settling, and cracking, which can make for difficult driving which adds wear and tear on vehicles.
Essex Street currently has old brick sewer mains with several broken sections that have allowed ground water to enter the sewer system, and also allows sewage to seep into the ground. Groundwater is a part of the ecosystem and should remain in the ground, not redirected into the sewer system, City officials said. The sewer pipe is located under a large water pipe (36 inches) owned by the MWRA, which makes it difficult to access and maintain. The Essex Street project will replace sewer mains where possible, and in hard to reach areas, it will place a structural liner that will reinforce the existing pipe.
The project will entail sewer and service replacements, water main abandonment with service transfers, new storm drain installation, new concrete driveway aprons, new granite curbing, fresh new concrete sidewalks, all new paving, new line stripping and pedestrian crossings.
Benefits of the project include:
•improved water pressure to fire hydrants;
•lead-free water service lines;
•new street trees which offer cooling during summer months, and reduced risks of utility breaks.
Upon project completion, the improvements will give Essex Street and portions of Highland Street a polished look and also provide long lasting utilities, the City said.