Mayor Hedlund today announced the Pave the Wey road infrastructure and improvement program. By utilizing additional bond funding, surplus funds, and expected state funding Pave the Wey will result in at least $7.5 million in improvements on up to 70,000 linear feet of sidewalks and roads throughout Weymouth in 2020 and 2021.
Upon taking Office in 2016, Mayor Hedlund immediately began working to address road infrastructure issues that existed. This included continuing to dedicate Community Development Block Grant funding and free cash to road improvements.
“There was a major backlog of road infrastructure improvements that needed to be addressed,” said Mayor Hedlund. “Within the first six months of taking office in 2016, we filed over $4 million in road improvement measures that the Town Council approved. That investment combined with Weymouth’s annual state Chapter 90 funding allowed us to improve more than 70 roadways and sidewalks across town.”
With that funding cycle and those road projects completed, the Hedlund Administration developed a new plan to address the backlog of substandard rated roads.
“This new initiative will be the largest real dollar investment in town history to address issues on major roadways, long-overdue side street paving, and repairing sidewalk infrastructure,” said Mayor Hedlund.
Hedlund is proposing to borrow $3 million and use $2 million from free cash to fund the Pave the Wey initiative. That, combined with expected state Chapter 90 and other funding, will bring the total investment to over $7.5 million in 2020 and 2021. This would mean that since FY16, the Administration will have dedicated more than $21 million in funding toward road and sidewalk improvements.
The Pave the Wey program will utilize funds from four major sources: federal Community Development Block Grant funding that is allocated annually to be used in qualifying neighborhoods; state-authorized Chapter 90 funding; free cash appropriations; and a new, dedicated borrowing for FY21.
Pave the Wey will commit at least a total of $7,570,000 in infrastructure improvements that include repaving of roads and repairing or reconstructing sidewalks. The program immediately will address conditions on at least 40 streets, including major roadways such as Front Street, Washington Street, Union Street, Water Street, Broad Street, and Thicket Street.
When determining which roads to consider for improvements, the Department of Public Works compiles a number of data points such as road length, volume, material, and condition to create a ranking for the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). The PCI can range from 40 to 100. The average PCI for the roads included in the Pave the Wey program is 61.5. In addition to PCI, the Department looks at road jurisdiction, such as private ways or state-owned roads, and determines if re-paving and improvements can coincide with a state project or ongoing work. For example, the roadwork on Washington Street will take place in the area of Broad and Front Street and be coordinated with the completion of the signal work at that intersection.
In addition, many roads are on a schedule for gas line installation and repaving is often coordinated with that effort so as to not duplicate the work. Six of the identified priority roads are in need of gas line installation before the road and sidewalk work can begin. Since Mayor Hedlund has taken office, approximately 400 gas leaks have been addressed. This is one example of the associated road infrastructure and utility work that is being completed.
Similarly, other related road infrastructure is being addressed in addition to the Pave the Wey program. “Maintaining roads, sidewalks, and related infrastructure is a basic function of municipal government and although much progress has been made, this will be a significant focus of my second term,” stated Mayor Hedlund.
Other infrastructure projects being completed in conjunction with the road and sidewalk repaving includes replacement of the Great Pond Dam/Randolph Street culvert, reconstructing the Commercial Street bridge over the Herring Run, replacement of the underground culvert in the Weymouth Landing, and a number of intersection and signalization improvements. These capital investment projects are planned and being funded by the Town and Pave the Wey will add to these infrastructure investments.
The Pave the Wey plan will be rolled out to the Town Council on February 18th for consideration of the measures to authorize the use of $2 million in free cash and borrowing $3 million for the program. Pending Town Council approval, roadwork is slated to begin in the Spring of 2020.
A full list of roads under consideration for the Pave the Wey program can be viewed here: https://www.weymouth.ma.us/sites/weymouthma/files/uploads/pave_the_wey_-_road_list_for_borrowing_and_free_cash_measures.pdf