Officials address concerns with Congamond Road

SOUTHWICK – The rainy conditions this past weekend caused concern from Southwick town officials about the Congamond Road project.

On the roadway in front of businesses like Saunders Boat Livery and Red Riding Hood’s Basket, rain was pooling on the portion of Congamond Road that hasn’t been paved yet.

According to Southwick DPW Director Randy Brown, the contractor for the project, Pereira Construction is hoping to put asphalt on that section of Congamond Road in the next two or three weeks.

“Once the asphalt is in, the road is going to drain much quicker,” said Brown.

Parts of Congamond Road near Saunders Boat Livery was completely flooded this past weekend. (Photo from Doug Moglin)

The conditions this past weekend raised some concerns as Select Board Clerk Doug Moglin went out to the scene of the issue after receiving calls from concerned residents.

“It was downright dangerous out there on Saturday,” said Moglin. “It was just the recipe for a bad time.”

When assessing the situation, Moglin noted that the water was deep and vehicles traveling through were trying to seek higher ground as well as opposing traffic driving close to each other in attempt to avoid the parts of the road with more water.

As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, who’s overseeing the project, had a meeting with Brown, Southwick Police, and Pereira Construction earlier this week.

“We’re really trying to make sure that we’re all on the same page and this doesn’t happen again,” said Brown. “I’m hopeful we’re not going to see that again.”

However, Brown did add that there were discussions about what the contractor can do moving forward.

“We’ll be in better communication and there are some other measures that will help drain water more quickly in that neighborhood,” said Brown.

One of the key measures that the DPW and Mass DOT will be having Pereira Construction take is to replace the silt sacs in the catch basins. Similar to a sock, the silt sac is put onto the catch basin to act as a filter when the water drains.

Earlier this month the Congamond Road project resumed after being put on hold during the winter season. Pereira has been continuing phase one of the project which consists of widening the road, constructing sidewalks, and reclaiming the road surface.

Once phase one is complete, phase two will begin where Pereira will widen the road, construct sidewalks, and reclaim the road surface from the top of the hill on Congamond Road to College Hwy. While a crew is conducting that part of the project, another crew will be going back to phase one and finish work on the sidewalks on that part of Congamond Road.

This is being funded by Mass DOT at a cost of $4.1 million and is expected to finish at some point in the fall of 2019.

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