Westfield springing into construction season

WESTFIELD – Residents still feel the grip of winter, but area communities are already launching summer construction projects that will replace winter potholes woes with spring road construction and commuter delays.
City Engineer Mark Cressotti has scheduled an April 14 public meeting at Westfield High School to present Northside residents with details of a project to reconfigure the intersection of North Elm Street and Notre Dame Street.
Cressotti said residents of Prospect Hill and lower Notre Dame Street will have an opportunity to hear the details, and make comments, on the project which includes construction of dedicated left turn lanes, both north and south, on North Elm Street.
The scope of work will also include widening the west side of Notre Dame Street, at the intersection of North Elm Street, to provide more room for motorists attempting to make a right turn onto the southbound lane of North Elm Street.
Mayor Daniel M. Knapik said that project is being readied to be advertised for contracts, but the actual work will not be initiated until the Pochassic Street Bridge (Drug Store Hill Bridge) reconstruction is completed in June.
Cressotti said that the plans for the long-awaited construction of a sewer pump station to serve Jessie Lane and Plantation Circle will also be the focus of a neighborhood meeting later in April. The project to install 1,600 feet of sanitary sewer line to service homes on Plantation Circle and Jessie Lane.
Residents of the Plantation Circle and Jessie Lane petitioned the City Council to amend the city sewer map to allow the sewer line extension. The council voted in 2012 to allow the sewer project. The city is proposing to install a 20-foot wide and five-foot high culvert over Ashley Brook. An earthen berm would then be placed on top of the culvert and the sewer line buried for protection from the weather.
The sewer line will cross Ashley Brook to connect to existing sewers in the Radisson Lane neighborhood. The Jessie Lane pump station will have a pressure line connecting the Plantation Circle/Jessie Lane gravity line with the Radisson Lane system that is at a higher elevation than Plantation Circle.
Cressotti said that residents of the Big Wood Drive neighborhood are being notified that surveyors will be in that neighborhood for a different sewer expansion project.
The Water Commission voted in December (2013) to approve $60,420 for design of a sewer line on Big Wood Drive that will be extended in the future to include nearby residential streets such as Blueberry Ridge and Pineridge Drive.
“There is a resident on the cul-de-sac section of Big Wood Drive whose septic system is failing and whose property backs up to Shaker Road,” Cressotti said at that December meeting. “He is willing to give us a sewer easement through his property and to share the cost of the design work.”
Cressotti said that design work will include calculations to extend the sewer line to the neighborhood currently not served by city sewers.
“It will be designed to serve the whole neighborhood, not right now, but in the future,” Cressotti said.
“Strategically we need to get sewers in there,” Cressotti said. “The resident is looking to grant a sewer easement to service that entire neighborhood. This is as good, if not better, than other alternatives and it sets up for future extension.”

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