Construction Zone: Infrastructure/Roadway Projects Set to Begin

Cynthia Whitty
This summer’s infrastructure projects are the beginning of major revitalization town construction projects, downtown and on Rt. 126 (Pond Street). (Image/supplied)
Issue Date: 
August, 2019
Article Body: 

The town of Ashland is set to undergo a series of major construction projects over the next couple of years. Infrastructure projects starting this summer through early September will be followed by the Downtown Revitalization Project, which could begin in December 2019 and completed in 2021. On the south side of town, the Rt. 126/Pond Street Revitalization Project is still in the design phase; construction work is expected to start in 2021.
“A substantial number of projects are scheduled to start by the end of July,” according to Director Doug Small, Ashland Department of Public Works (DPW).
The following is a list of some of this summer’s major projects. For more information, visit the DPW page of the town’s website,, or contact the DPW at 508-881-0120, [email protected].
Downtown Street
Water Main Cleaning and Lining, Main Street. The project limits are from Pine Hill Road to Summer Street (the Post Office). Work entails the installation of a temporary water bypass, roadway excavation to access the water main, pipe cleaning, and the lining of the inside of the water main/pipe to extend the water main life for years to come. Traffic impacts should be minimal. This project should be completed by September 1.

Water Main Replacement, Summer Street. The project limits are from Main Street (the Post Office) to Cherry Street. This project will consist of much more roadway excavation compared to the Water Main Cleaning and Lining mentioned above. The scope of work includes replacing the existing Cement Water Main with a new Ductile Iron Pipe. Summer Street is fairly wide; traffic impacts should be minimal, but from time to time, the DPW may need to shut down one lane when they install the new water services to households and businesses along Summer Street. A temporary water bypass pipe system is required. This project completed by November 1. Final paving will occur when the Downtown Revitalization Project is completed.

The town suffered water main breaks in intersection of Main/Summer/Homer Streets several months ago. The existing pipe will be replaced and the intersection roadway surface will be cleaned up. Traffic in this intersection will be impacted significantly for a day or two.

Eversource Gas Main Installation (private job), Homer Avenue between Main and Alden streets. This job will last about 3-4 weeks and should be completed by September 1. Traffic will be impacted at times. At least one lane should remain open throughout the duration of this project.
Complete Streets Projects
The town received a MassWorks grant of $311,336 from the state through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to implement complete street features. Approximately $200,000 of the award amount will be used to furnish and install the following projects, which will start at the end of July and be completed in November:

Pleasant Street Pedestrian Crossing Safety Improvement
Fruit Street Pedestrian
Accessibility Improvement
School Zone Safety
Homer Avenue/Central Street Pedestrian Safety/
Accessibility Improvement
Riverwalk Project
In addition, as part of the Riverwalk Project, a long-span pedestrian bridge will be built to connect the newly enhanced pathway along Sudbury Road to Mill Pond. The bridge will provide direct access to the Bay Circuit Trail (a 200-mile regional trail extending from Duxbury to Kingston) and Mill Pond Park. The trail will extend pedestrian access to downtown and connect existing recreational areas for residents of all ages and abilities and could serve as a driver to revitalizing the downtown area. Work on the bridge will start at the end of July or early August.