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Uphams Corner Construction Work Begins and Leaves a Watery Mess


As part of the initial exploratory work for the Uphams Corner Public Works Infrastructure Upgrade, a contractor made a mistake and broke a water main. Boston Water and Sewer had to be called in.  The next day, two more leaks appeared.   In addition, what was a safe and attractive brick sidewalk is now decorated with loose bricks, mud and bricks put back so poorly, they are creating a tripping hazard.  Surely our community can do better than this.

Construction Work for the Infrastructure Upgrade Begins

Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins Contractors hired to start the infrastructure upgrade work begun carrying out exploratory work in Uphams Corner. On Saturday morning, June 1, 2013, Northern Pipe Services had begun drilling into the street to determine what would be necessary to put in a new mast arm foundation to support higher traffic lights. Maybe, they said, the traffic lights would be hanging from wires suspended across the street.

Around 11am, they had to stop their work because they hit a water pipe and water was gushing everywhere. According to Boston Water and Sewer (BWSC), they had drilled through the top of a water main. Dan Regan, a technician for the Masonic Building had been called in to determine if the building was being impacted by the break. "No," he said, "doesn't look like there are any problems."

BWSC was stationed at the Columbia Rd / Dudley intersection all afternoon trying to get the water to stop. At 10pm, the only human remaining adjacent to the open hole in the street was a police officer looking comfortable in his lawn chair. "No, I'm not having a good time," he said in response to a friendly opening question. He didn't expect to be there after 11 or 11:30. "They got the water turned off and now they can't figure out how to turn it on again."

The next day, Sunday morning, two additional water leaks, apparently related to the first, were obvious where Ramsay meets Dudley and also at Arion and Columbia Rd. According to BWSC Operations, "When, you shut down the water and start it back up again, sometimes the gate will leak. It's called a packing leak. The packing is put there so the gate doesn't leak. If it does, you know the packing has failed. The repair is scheduled for Monday."

Sidewalk Left in Poor Condition

As of Monday (two days after work started), one gate was still leaking (at Arion St), the loose bricks were still piled against the light pole, the bricks layed incorrectly have now created a tripping hazard and the mound of dirt looks like they "went to lunch and forgot to come back."

In photo #1, the asphalt is where the hole was cut to find the broken pipe. To the right in photo #2, you can see the dirt pile on the sidewalk, shown in detail in photo #3.

Notice the bricks stacked up in photo #4. Where did the come from? Clearly, the bricks were not returned to the sidewalk properly. Loose bricks notoriously become destructive weapons in Uphams Corner.

Photos 5 and 6 show the water leaking out of the ground at Ramsay and Arion Streets, respectively, because the repair was not done properly. As of this writing, Arion Street is still leaking.

Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins
Photo 1: Water leaking from street after water main break
Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins
Photo 2: Street after repair
Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins
Photo 3: Boston Water & Sewer - poor workmanship and tripping hazard
Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins
Photo 4: Left over bricks stacked up against traffic pole
Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins
Photo 5: Water running down Ramsay St from leak
Uphams Corner Infrastructure Construction Begins
Photo 6: Water bubbling up on Arion St and running to sewer

Posted: June 2, 2013 Nancy J Conrad

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