On Monday, September 14, 2020, I had an appointment in Massachusetts. On the way home, I stopped at Shawsheen Cemetery to pay my respects to my family, interred there; longtime residents of Bedford.
I was appalled at the condition of my family’s gravesites (12 total) at Shawsheen Cemetery. There was no grass and weeds had taken over. The graves hadn’t been weeded (pictures attached). Last Spring I made my stance well known on the Bedford site on Facebook and I wasn’t alone.
The bridge on The Great Road spanning the Shawsheen River near Stop and Shop Plaza will be closed for repairs from the evening of Friday, October 2, to the morning of Monday, October 5.
State Representative Ken Gordon (D – Bedford), Senator Mike Barrett (D – Lexington), and Bedford Town Manager Sarah Stanton remind residents to seek alternate routes, if possible. The work will be contained within one weekend.
The rehabilitation plan was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) after a recent Bridge Rating Report found that several of the bridge’s beams have an extremely low carrying capacity. The weekend of important repairs will restore the safety and structural stability of the bridge while minimizing inconvenience to residents and businesses. The bridge will re-open before the Monday morning commute and school bus schedule.
“Given the current structure of the bridge, there is no getting around the necessity of these repairs. However, I am happy that MassDOT will be able to make them so quickly and with such little inconvenience to the town,” said Rep. Gordon when the construction was first announced. “Drivers will be detoured for the weekend, but it is a small price for a safe and stable bridge for years to come.”
The Dredgit crew continues to dredge and haul, having just completed 4 full weeks of dredge operations in the lake. This week they removed 1,012 cubic yards of sediments for a total of 3,698 yards, approximately 46% of the total amount to be cleared. This material is being sent to the Lexington facility for reuse in their compost operations. The dredge barge is working in the O – O cross-section (see construction drawings, sheet C-6), which is almost the middle of the lake. The dredged material continues to be all organic, with a few small rocks and a couple of coins mixed in at the bottom.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will be replacing the Great Road (Route 4/225) bridge deck over the Shawsheen River as part of its emergency bridge repair program.
During the weekend closure, currently scheduled for Friday evening, October 2 to Monday morning, October 5, there will be no access across the bridge; vehicles and pedestrians will be detoured along Brooksbie Road, Page Road, and Shawsheen Road as shown on the attached map. Access to local businesses and residences will be maintained at all times.
In spite of a few rain events, the Dredgit crew was able to dredge and haul all week, removing an additional 1,036 cubic yards of lake sediments for a total of 2,686 yards, approximately 33% of the total amount to be cleared. This material is being sent to the Lexington facility for reuse in their compost operations. The dredge barge has just about completed the P – P cross-section (see construction drawings, sheet C-6), and will be moving to section O – O in the middle of the lake after Labor Day.
The Dredgit crew continued to dredge and haul all week, removing an additional 800 cubic yards of lake sediments for a total of 1650 yards, approximately 20% of the total amount to be cleared under the contract. This material is being sent to the Lexington facility for reuse in their compost operations. The dredge barge is still working in the easterly portion of the lake, having finished the Q – Q cross-section and has moved to the P – P cross-section (see construction drawings, sheet C-6), which is about 35% dredged as of this report.
The Town of Bedford will begin micro paving portions of North Road, Concord Road, The Great Road, and Page Road, starting Wednesday, August 19th.
On Wednesday morning, contractors will begin on Concord Road, working east from the Town line towards the center of Bedford. They will also be focusing on portions of North Road, The Great Road, between Mudge Way and Hillside, as well as Page Road from Old Billerica to the Lexington town line. The work will take four to five days to complete.
Work this week was to make the final fittings and connections to operate the dredge equipment while continuing to run the weed harvester across the lake. The harvester has now removed approximately 75 cubic yards of aquatic vegetation which is currently stockpiled at the boat launch to continue draining. As noted in the project plan, the southwestern portion of the lake is not being cleared; this will maintain the current habitat for species that exist in this type of resource area.
It’s that time of an election year when the weeds are pulling ahead, exceeding all expectations, and the plants are literally falling by the wayside. We don’t need pollsters to predict this will happen. Things have been heated on many fronts lately, but eerily quiet in town.
In a “normal” year we might actually leave the ‘hood sometime in the summer months and by the time we get home and catch up with our friends, the thrill of the window boxes is gone and we graciously let them do as they will, yanking out the petunias and geraniums and eventually replacing them with teensy pumpkins.
Being home for the summer without the ability to even drive much of anywhere means we get a ringside seat of the yearly competition between the plants we actually put in the ground and whatever Mother Nature offers.
At 9:12 on Tuesday evening, as the tail end of Isaias departed Bedford, a tree fell across Sunset Road. Eleven homes were plunged into darkness and a 48-hour saga began.
The DPW delivered saw horses, blocked the road, and notified Eversource on Wednesday morning.
According to sources, no one in the DPW’s Grounds Division is certified to touch trees tangled in power lines. The Town is required to notify Eversource, and wait its turn for the company’s arborists and linemen to repair the damage.
The Dredgit crew made significant progress this week, erecting and connecting the multiple pieces of equipment needed for the dredge operation. The screener, shaker, conveyors, centrifuges, and dewatering tanks are all in line ready to start. Additionally, the weed harvester has made several passes across the lake to cut and remove the water lilies in preparation for the dredge operation. This alone has made a significant visible improvement to the lake. Approximately 50 cubic yards of aquatic vegetation has been cleared.
Tropical Storm Isaias paid a visit to Bedford Tuesday afternoon and left some residents with the task of clearing fallen branches and other tree debris. The Department of Public Works wants to remind Bedford residents that they can bring the branches and debris to the Compost Center.
The Compost Center, located at 108 Carlisle Road, will be open this Saturday (August 8) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and next Wednesday, August 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
As part of the Fawn Lake restoration project, work to reconstruct the outlet dam at Springs Road is scheduled to begin August 3. Dredgit’s subcontractor, Bay State Regional Contractors, will have equipment staged at the dam to remove the existing debris and regrade the area for the new earthen dam. In order to perform this work, a cofferdam will be set across the end of the lake and water will be pumped around the temporary dam. Steel sheeting will be driven along the length of the dam to act as the new support. Specifics for this work are shown on pages C-4 & C-5 of the contract documents found on the Fawn Lake website (see link below). Due to the amount of construction equipment, the existing trail through the work zone will be closed. Please use one of the alternate trails as shown on the attached map.
Click this link in the actual story to download/view/print a full-sized map of the relocated trail.
The dredging work in the lake will also begin next week. The lake is not being drained.
The weed harvester will first cut the aquatic vegetation below the surface of the water and haul it to shore up the boat ramp. Once that material is cleared, the dredge barge will cross back and forth, making 6-foot wide cuts in the sediments which will be pumped to shore, screened, dewatered, and trucked off-site. Trucking of the dried material will be daily, starting at 8 am.
Due to social distancing, please do not approach the contractors with questions. We urge you to check the project information, previous reports, construction plans and proposed work schedule on our website at https://www.bedfordma.gov/department-of-public-works/pages/fawn-lake-project
The Town of Bedford will begin micropaving work on North Road, Concord Road, and Page Road (from Old Billerica Rd to the Lexington town line) tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
The work will involve adjusting structures (drains, manhole covers), some patching, and two layers of micro pavement. The work will be done in phases over each of the areas and is expected to last approximately 3 weeks. Police will be present during this work but some delays and lane closures can be expected.
The Department of Public Works recently announced a return to the summer schedule for the Compost Center.
The Compost Center, located at 108 Carlisle Road, will be open every other Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, and every other Wednesday from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm at 106 Carlisle Road. The autumn schedule will announced at the end of September.
Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in comet-spotting in Bedford, local astronomer Alan MacRobert posted the following message on the First Parish announcement list on Saturday morning and authorized The Bedford Citizen to share it with the community.
Abby and I found the comet pretty easily just after dark, over the farmland next to Little Meadow off Davis Road. Averted vision helped bring out more length of the tail. The view in 10×50 binoculars was fantastic! A tiny bright head and a classic curved comet dust tail, just like the pictures. No color, no visible gas tail (which would be blue and straight).
The long-awaited Fawn Lake dredging project is scheduled to start in mid-July. The Town has contracted with Dredgit Corp. to dredge the pond and to reconstruct the outlet dam at Springs Road.
The work includes hydraulic wet dredging of the bottom sediments to restore the lake to approximately 8-feet deep. The material is pumped from the dredge barge to a dewatering system. Once the material is dried, it will be transported to a residuals holding area and then hauled off-site to a nearby compost facility for eventual reuse as loam.
The neighborhood impacts will be noise and trucks. We anticipate 8-10 truck trips (out and back) per day on Sweetwater Avenue. Work hours will be 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week.
Due to social distancing requirements, please do not approach the Dredgit personnel with questions. We urge you to check the project information, previous reports, construction plans, and proposed work schedule. If you have additional questions, please contact the Bedford Department of Public Works at (781) 918-4256. Thank you for your cooperation throughout this project.