Friday, October 31, 2014

Paving Construction Update - Week of November 3rd

Warner Bros., LLC will is scheduled to complete paving of Sylvester Road on Monday and Tuesday. Work on shoulders and driveways will begin after paving is complete. Due to the narrowness of the roadway, Sylvester Road will be OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY during paving operations. All other traffic will be DETOURED along Chesterfield Road, Spring Street and Ryan Road. Please plan accordingly and seek alternate routes.

Completion of repaving the raised crosswalks on North Street and repair of the two sinkholes on Main Street in Florence is scheduled for Tuesday.

The reclaiming of Bridge Road from Jackson Street to Francis Street will not begin until the Spring of 2015.

Motorists: please be aware of road construction operations, obey directions from traffic control officers and use caution when passing work crews. Contact the DPW at 587-1570 if you need more information.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Two Upcoming Forest Walks on Water Supply Property


The public is invited to join the Northampton Department of Public Works and their consulting forester on a forest walk to learn about forest stewardship plans for the area and the recent discovery of red pine scale on water supply property.  This walk is scheduled for Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 9 AM - 10:30 AM. The walk begins at the intersection of Kennedy and Chesterfield Roads in Leeds and carpooling is advised due to the limited parking along the roadways.

This walk will be followed by a Post-Harvest Forest Walk on water supply property located off of Williamsburg Road in Whately.  This walk will start at 11:15 AM and end at 12:30 PM. Those interested should meet near the West Whately Reservoir by the intersection of Williamsburg and Conway Roads in Whately. 

No registration is required.  For more information contact Nicole Sanford - Sr. Environmental Scientist with Northampton DPW at 413-587-1376 or nsanford@northamptonma.gov.

Please click here for more information on Roberts Meadow Walk.
Please click here for more information on the Post-Harvest Walk.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Paving Construction Update - Week of October 27th

Warner Bros., LLC will is scheduled to prepare the roadway for paving on Tuesday and begin paving Sylvester Road on Wednesday. There will be no work on Sylvester Road Monday, Thursday or Friday. Paving is scheduled to continue the week of November 3rd. Due to the narrowness of the roadway, Sylvester Road will be OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY during grading and paving operations. All other traffic will be DETOURED along Chesterfield Road, Spring Street and Ryan Road. Please plan accordingly and seek alternate routes.

Repaving of the raised crosswalks on North Street is scheduled for Monday and Wednesday.

The reclaiming of Bridge Road from Jackson Street to Francis Street will not begin until the Spring of 2015.

Motorists: please be aware of road construction operations, obey directions from traffic control officers and use caution when passing work crews. Contact the DPW at 587-1570 if you need more information.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Damon Road Construction Oct 27 to Nov 17

Construction work on a section of Damon Road from Industrial Drive to King Street will start on Monday, October 27, 2014.  Hours of construction will be from 7:00 a..m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For the week of October 27th construction work will be done mostly off the pavement of the street. Public Works will be updating the schedule frequently as the project progresses.

Click here for more information.

Construction work is expected to finish November 17th, 2014.  There may be minor delays and the traveling public may wish to seek alternate routes.  At this time no roads are scheduled to be closed for this project.

Construction work includes installation of traffic signal lights at the intersection of Damon Road and Industrial Drive, new traffic control signals for the railroad crossing and associated pavement markings.  This is a Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) project for the knowledge corridor which will bring high speed rail service to Northampton and points beyond.



Water Use Restrictions Ended

Effective immediately the City of Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW) is ending the water use restriction for users of the Northampton Public Water Supply.

The City’s water supply system is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  DEP requires that a water restriction be implemented when stream-flow in the Mill River drops below a certain quantity of flow (26.3 cubic feet per second) for a 3-day period during the months of May through September.

The City appreciates the efforts water users have made to comply with the ban on non-essential water use.  We would like to extend our thanks to all that helped conserve our most precious resource.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

RED PINE TREES ON WATER SUPPLY PROPERTY IN RAPID DECLINE DUE TO NEW PEST



Red pine scale (Matsucoccus resinosae) has been identified on water supply property near the City’s drinking water reservoirs.  The scale is a small, non-native insect that has been present in Massachusetts for some time.  Once red pine scale is present within a forest stand, it will likely infect all red pines resulting in complete mortality within 1-2 years. Red pines, a non-native species, were planted in small monocultures, generally in the 1930s, and were intended to stabilize the soil thereby protecting the water quality of the reservoirs.   There are 37 red pine stands and sub-stands in six towns, totaling about 234 acres, or a little less than 7% of the approximate 3,444 acres of forest owned by the City of Northampton adjacent to the City water supply reservoirs.   The red pine stands are located in water supply property located in Northampton, Westhampton, Hatfield, Conway, Whately and Williamsburg. 
Red Pine Tree Removal
The Forest Stewardship Plans, completed between 2011-2013, for the forested water supply property at the Ryan and West Whately; Mountain Street and Roberts Meadow Reservoirs noted that the red pine stands were in a state of decline due to a number of pests and pathogens including various bark beetles especially Ips calligraphus, which girdle trees by feeding under the bark; Diplodia tip blight/canker, a fungus that causes girdling cankers in the twigs; a needle-cast fungus that causes needles to break in half or fall off altogether; and armilaria root rot fungus, which girdles roots and the root collar of the tree.  However, the scale was not evident during the completion of these plans. Included in the stewardship plans, were silvicultural recommendations to gradually transition the red pine stands to native forest type. The presence of scale will accelerate this transition as the City will take steps to harvest some of the red pine trees.   
The red pines will be managed in a number of ways as follows:
  • Trees that are still alive and are accessible may be harvested;
  • Trees that are still alive and inaccessible will not be harvested;
  • Trees that are already dead and pose no safety hazard will remain;
  • Trees that are already dead and pose a safety hazard will be cut down wherever possible.
 Please contact James R. Laurila, P.E. City Engineer at 587-1570 if you need more information.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Paving Construction Update - Week of October 20th

Warner Bros., LLC will continue grading and compacting Sylvester Road. Due to the narrowness of the roadway, Sylvester Road will be OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY during grading and compaction operations. All other traffic will be DETOURED along Chesterfield Road, Spring Street and Ryan Road. Please plan accordingly and seek alternate routes.

Repaving of the raised crosswalks on North Street is tentatively scheduled for Thursday or Friday, weather permitting.

The reclaiming of Bridge Road from Jackson Street to Francis Street will not begin until the Spring of 2015.

Motorists: please be aware of road construction operations, obey directions from traffic control officers and use caution when passing work crews. Contact the DPW at 587-1570 if you need more information.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coles Meadow Road Paving

The Dept. of Public Works will be box paving the center sections of Coles Meadow Road on Wednesday, October 15th between 7:30 am to 3pm. The road will be closed to through traffic during paving. Motorists should seek alternate routes. Local traffic will have access but delays are to be anticipated.  Please be aware of the road construction and take caution while passing work crews. If you need more information please contact the DPW at 413-587-1570.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Paving Construction Update - Week of October 13th

Warner Bros., LLC will begin grading and compacting Sylvester Road on Tuedsay, October 14th. There will be no road work on Monday, October 13th.

Due to the narrowness of the roadway, Sylvester Road will be OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY during grading and compaction operations. All other traffic will be DETOURED along Chesterfield Road, Spring Street and Ryan Road. Please plan accordingly and seek alternate routes.

A Department of Public works crew plans to complete box paving on Coles Meadow Road as weather and scheduling allow. The road will be reduced to one lane of traffic during times of the blacktop operation.

The reclaiming of Bridge Road from Jackson Street to Francis Street will not begin until the Spring of 2015.

Motorists: please be aware of road construction operations, obey directions from traffic control officers and take caution while passing work crews. Contact the DPW at 587-1570 if you need more information.

Partial Holyoke Street Closure

A section of Holyoke Street will be closed between Pleasant Street (Route 5) and Hawley Street starting on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 until Friday November 28, 2014.  The section of Holyoke Street that will be closed to through traffic is at the railroad overpass near the intersection of Hawley Street.  Local traffic can still get as far as the overpass on either side.  The closure will take place Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. This project may cause delays in travel time and the traveling public should seek alternative routes.

Repairs to the railroad overpass is contracted  through MassDOT as part of the Knowledge Corridor Project which will bring high speed rail service to Northampton and points beyond.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Forest Managment Update

-- Invited by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Sr. Environmental Scientist, Nicole Sanford and consulting forester, Michael Mauri presented at the Massachusetts Town Forests Symposium on October 5, 2014.  The focus of the symposium was connecting local communities with sustainable forestry.  DPW presented on the forestry initiatives that have occurred on water supply property over the past three years.

-- Timber harvests are scheduled to begin this October and continue through the winter.  Specifics regarding these harvests (Year 1 and Year 2 Implementation Cutting Plans) can be found on DPW’s website as well as the overall Forest Stewardship Plans for all water supply property.

-- A forest walk of the failed Williamsburg Reservoir Dam Site will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 9 AM to 11 AM.  The walk begins at the end of Judd Lane in Williamsburg.  Carpooling is advised due to limited parking along Judd Lane.  DPW staff, the consulting forester and members of the Williamsburg Historical Society will lead a walk of the failed Williamsburg Reservoir dam site to discuss the historical significance of the site and the forest stewardship plans for this important historic area.  Click here for a flyer for this upcoming forest walk.

-- Finally, red pine scale (Matsucoccus resinosae) has recently been identified on water supply property.  The scale is a small insect that has been moving north since the 1960s.  Once the red pine scale is present within the forest stand it will likely infect all red pines resulting in complete mortality within 1-2 years.  DPW staff and the consulting forester, together with the Board of Public Works, are in the process of determining next steps to deal with this potential loss of canopy in certain watershed forest stands.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paving Construction Update - Week of October 6th

Warner Bros., LLC will begin reclaiming Sylvester Road on Tuedsay, October 7th. There will be no road work on Monday, October 6th.

Due to the narrowness of the roadway, Sylvester Road will be OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY during reclaiming and grading operations. All other traffic will be DETOURED along Chesterfield Road, Spring Street and Ryan Road. Please plan accordingly and seek alternate routes.

A Department of Public works crew will continue with box paving on Coles Meadow Road as weather and scheduling allow. The road will be reduced to one lane of traffic during times of the blacktop operation.

Motorists: please be aware of road construction operations, obey directions from traffic control officers and take caution while passing work crews. Contact the DPW at 587-1570 if you need more information.