Upper Broadway work progressing to next stages

The massive re-building of Upper Broadway continues to progress through Phase 1, with crews now at Cary Avenue and one-third of the way done on their trek to the Revere City Line.

The DPW’s Fidel Maltez said the water and sewer replacement work that started in September is divided up into three zones, and crews are now 100 percent done with the zone from City Hall to Cary Avenue.

A 12-inch PVC Sewer Main installation. approximately
10 feet deep.

“Now we’re doing Cary Avenue to Webster,” he said. “We did break it up in zones and we’re 100 percent done in that first section now.”

Work began in front of City Hall in August 2020 and has steadily progressed northward. As typical in construction, the deeper utilities are installed first, with each subsequent utility installed becoming shallower; for this project, that has meant that sewer main has been installed first, followed by sewer service transfer, water main installation, water service transfer, and then, for areas that are part of the first phase of sewer/stormwater separation, drainage.

Work on water main installation is wrapping up between Cary Ave and Eleanor Street, which means over the next several weeks, residents in this area will have their water services transferred to the new water main. Chelsea Police and the Department of Public Works have been working with the contractor and the MBTA to keep bus stops open and to try to limit the impact this project has on the community. 

The project is on schedule and is slated to be complete by its October 31, 2021 deadline.

The second part of the project will be the improved streetscape and sidewalks.

Alex Train, director of Housing and Community Development, said they are in the process of designing the streetscape improvements, which will begin in the spring of 2022.

“In parallel with utility construction, the City, through the Dept. of Housing & Community Development and Dept. of Public Works, has been finishing up the design of comprehensive streetscape improvements,” he said. “Slated to break ground in April of 2022, the streetscape project is fully financed by a federal grant from the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. The project calls for the reconstruction of the roadway, sidewalks, and drainage system, as well as the installation of new bus stops, bike lanes, and street trees. Over the course of 2021, the City will host public meetings on the new design.”

The Capital Improvement projects are designed to replace aging water, sewer and drain infrastructure. Aging sewers can allow sewage into the groundwater and infiltrate groundwater into the sewer; both are detrimental to the environment, and increase the cost to the water and sewer system.

Separating stormwater from the sewer system reduces the amount of water sent to the MWRA, resulting in reduced costs to residents. Replacing the water main eliminates problems with water quality and leaking pipes. At the completion of this project, nearly a mile of both water main and sewer main will have been replaced from City Hall to the Revere city line. Additionally, all homes in the corridor will receive a new 1-inch copper water service and all sewer services will be replaced or cement lined at no cost to the property owners.

Finally, any lead water service lines encountered in the project will be replaced.

“It’s an incredible project and an exciting project,” said Maltez. “It’s Broadway, so it’s our main artery and this will change that entire corridor.”

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