Safe Routes to School: MADOT and engineering consultant TEC presented the 25% design at a Public Hearing on Thursday, June 14th. The design plan will be posted shortly. Overall the feedback from the public was very positive but concerns were raised about the Hawk light and RRFV beacons. Also, residents with brick sidewalks want to keep brick and concrete for all other sidewalks. The 25% design plans will be posted shortly on the Planning Department website.
Complete Streets: We have reviewed the proposals for the technical assistance consultant and have chosen TEC. TEC has a strong relationship with MADOT, the engineering firm working with the City on SRTS and are experienced with Complete Streets. They will assist the City in identifying 15-20 priority projects to prepare us for submission for the $400,000 in construction funding grants.
Intermodal Facility/Garage: During excavation a small area of asbestos was discovered; DEP was notified and has been working with the City on remediation. The asbestos must be removed from the site and we hope to mobilize later this week; we are awaiting final costs for this process. Project schedule is well-managed by G&R and a major component was sign off of the pre-cast structures in Shaftsbury, VT. at Dailey Precast. Andy Port, Planning Director made the trip and was impressed with the factory, quality of work and approval process.
The precast structures will begin delivery the week of July 16th with approximately 12 oversized trucks per day for 5 weeks. The route is attached with trucks coming in from Int. 495 to Rt. 110 to Bridge Rd. and coming off southbound ramp on Merrimac St. and entering site from Merrimac St. or Titcomb St. Each drop off should be 10-20 minutes depending on footings match-up. Trucks will shorten beds after unloading; exit Titcomb St. to Court St. to High St. to Summer St. out over bridge. Police details will be at key intersections and there will be direct radio contacts with drivers and site personnel. Parking restrictions will be needed on sections of Titcomb, Washington and Court Streets and notice is being developed for all abutters. Further discussion will occur with residents at the next IAG meeting tentatively scheduled for July 12th.
Clipper City Rail Trail II: the cleanup of the PCBs behind the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) has been a long and complicated process. Although EPA has weighed in on the removal process there continues to be concerns regarding the river and washout and best approach to prevent further erosion. With the MVP grant of $122,000 to conduct a feasibility and design study to protect our investment in the upgrade to WWTF, a minimal approach to the erosion would be the better option. Regardless, the contractors are working on a punch list for all other sections and will be complete within the next weeks. In the interim we will have to reroute the trail in front of the WWTF until these issues can be resolved.
Whittier Bridge: A Working Group Meeting was held on June 15th. The Shared Used Path (SUP) barrier complete with Type 2 fencing as well as the overlooks. One more pier to complete and approve and working on punch list. Final alignment anticipated to be complete mid-August and SUP to open in September. I am awaiting internal review of the final Walsh/McCourt mitigation agreement which should be complete this week. Funding will be provided to the City for Spring Lane and Spofford St. sidewalk as outstanding mitigation work to be coordinated by the City and DPS.
DPS STATUS REPORT ON ROADWORK AS OF JUNE 22nd:
- Doe Run Drive – Mill work completed. Final paving next week.
- Dove Street – Total reconstruction underway. 2-3 months to complete.
- High Street – Not designed or scheduled at this time.
- Ferry Road – Will be done at same time as High Street.
- Lavalley Lane – Mill work completed, final paving next week.
- Longfellow Drive – Mill work completed, final paving next week.
- Low Street – Still have to schedule community meeting.
- Marquard Lane – Mill work completed, final paving next week.
- Merrimac Street – Not designed or scheduled at this time.
- Opportunity Way – Mill work completed, final paving next week.
- Plum Island Turnpike – Completed.
- Russia Street – Total reconstruction underway. 2-3 months to complete.
- Water Street @ Independent St – Completed.
- Wildwood Drive – Mill work completed, final paving next week.
Technology & NPS: The School Committee and City Council approved the original Capital IT needs for NHS on June 11th however the end-of-year IT evaluation of Nock/Molin and Bresnahan revealed the need for additional replacements as described in my memo to you on June 19th (see attached). The School building Committee had the foresight to establish $250,000 for each school project and these funds will be utilized for the IT needs. The school district will receive better bids with this bundled with the original approval. This is an exception to the routine process but makes financial sense to include these computers and waiting until after your next meeting on the 16th will not provide enough time to get the computers set up for the start of the school year.
Gayden Morrill Foundation: The foundation again is making a very generous annual donation to the city for beautification projects. This year $110,000 donation, an 8% increase over last year. Our annual meeting is scheduled in early September to finalize wards.
Newburyport Education Foundation: held their annual awards event on June 12th– congratulations to Megan Ashe receiving the Ed Molin Award, Blakelee Green the Cindy Johnson Volunteer Award and Matter Communications the Business Partner of the Year Award.
Parks Department: There is much work ahead to resolve the two ordinances in committee and to address the neighborhood concerns around Atkinson Common and Pioneer Park. We met this morning and will continue meetings to address Park needs for space and storage as well as the administrative structure and oversight.
MVP: the next required meeting to move the City closer to becoming a MVP community is the Listening Session scheduled for June 28th, 6:30 pm in city hall auditorium. City Councilors and the public are encouraged to attend to provide feedback on the priorities developed to protect key assets of our city.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY !!!