Major water main replacements begin next week

Apr 1, 2021 by

Published April 1, 2021

NORTH READING — The town of North Reading will be starting water main replacement projects on North Street and on Mount Vernon Street over the next few weeks. This work will replace the older water mains with new, larger diameter water mains, and will provide new connections to homes supplied by these new water mains.

“The North Street and Mt. Vernon Street projects were bid together, with the low bidder being Joseph Cardillo & Son Inc. of Wakefield, at a bid amount of $1,698,722.60. They were lowest of the 14 bids submitted,” according to Water Superintendent Mark Clark.

The highest bid of the 14 submitted was 47% more than the accepted bid, at nearly $2.5M, from FED Corp.

North Street

The existing water main in portions of North Street will be replaced with a new 12-inch diameter water main in two phases, as described below:

Phase 1 will take place beginning the week of April 5 and starting at the intersection of Lowell Road (Rte. 62) and North Street and proceeding up North Street to just west of the intersection of North Street at Main Street.

“The water main installation in this area is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete. Once the water main is in place, it must pass pressure tests and water quality tests before the main can be activated. When the water main passes these tests, houses and water mains feeding the cross streets will be connected to the new main,” Clark stated.

Phase 2 will take place starting approximately three weeks after the work in Phase 1 has begun. In this phase, the water main will be replaced from just east of the intersection of North Street at Main Street and proceed up North Street to the Hillview Country Club, where the feed from the town’s Moose Hill water storage tank meets North Street.

“This phase will include ‘bypass’ piping during which the existing homes will be connected to a temporary piping system installed above ground while the construction is underway,” explained Clark. “The contractor has estimated the water main installation in this area is anticipated to take approximately two to three weeks to complete.”

As with Phase 1, once the water main is in place, it must pass pressure tests and water quality tests before the main can be activated. When the water main passes these tests, houses and water mains feeding the cross streets will be connected to the new main.

Mount Vernon Street

The existing water main in Mount Vernon Street, between Haverhill Street and Woodland Drive, will be replaced with an 8-inch diameter water main. It is anticipated that this work will begin in late May.

“This work will also include bypass’ piping during which the existing homes will be connected to a temporary piping system installed above ground while the construction is underway,” said Clark. “The contractor has estimated the water main installation in this area is anticipated to take approximately two to three weeks to complete.”

As with the other water main installation, once the water main is in place, it must pass pressure tests and water quality tests before the main can be activated. When the water main passes these tests, houses and water mains feeding the cross streets will be connected to the new main.

What impact can I expect during this construction?

“There will be significant traffic impacts during this project. At times, the work area may be open to residents only, with other (non-residential) traffic detoured around the workareas,” Clark explained.

Access to Town Hall will be limited to deliveries, town employees, use of the outside drop-box, and appointments scheduled in advance.

“At other times, vehicles can expect traffic access in the work zones to be limited to a single lane of traffic.The traveling public is asked to seek alternative routes around the work area,” he said.

“If you use North Street or Mount Vernon Street to travel, please be aware that the operators of the heavy equipment are focused on their jobs and may not be aware of your vehicle. Pay attention to road closures, detours and police officers directing traffic in the work zones,” advisedClark.

Limited access on North St./

Lowell Rd. April 5-7

The public should also be aware that the initial work on Phase 1 of the North Street construction will involve crossing Lowell Road (Route 62), near Mullin Field, to North Street, between April 5 and April 7. This work will further limit travel on Lowell Road (Route 62) to one direction at a time. “Again, avoid this area if possible during this construction,” Clark said. “If your home is on North Street or Mount Vernon Street where the new water main is being installed, the contractor and the Water Department will try to maintain full water service to your home at all times during this construction,” Clark said, adding, “It is not unusual during this type of construction for the older water main or water services to break in the area of the work and require emergency shutdowns for repairs.”

Emergency contacts if you are without water

Anyone who experiences an unanticipated period of no water or reduced water pressure is asked to contact the Department of Public Works (DPW) at 978-357-5260 during Town Hall business hours (Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

If loss of water or reduced water pressure occurs during other hours, please contact the North Reading Fire Department’s business line at 978-664-3112.

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