Thursday, March 31, 2016

Flood Control Work - Pleasant Street/Route 5

During the week of April 4 through April 8th, work to improve the functionality of the stop log structures for the Connecticut River Flood Control system near Pleasant Street will be performed, weather permitting.

The stop log walls are designed to close the railroad and Route 5 in the event of a major flood event. This project is part of the City's on on-going efforts to maintain the flood control system for the protection of the City. Work on the railroad stop log should not impact the general public.

Work in Route 5 is scheduled to be performed between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am in order to minimize impacts to traffic. At least one lane of the highway will be open to traffic, but users should expect delays and use alternate routes where possible. Thank you for your cooperation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Crescent Street - Temporary Road Closure

The Department of Public Works will be closing Crescent St. from Langworthy Road to Bancroft Road to thru traffic on Friday March 25th, 2016, between the hours of 7:30am to 12noon. The Dept. of Public Works will be working with National Grid and Northern Tree Service to remove a large tree that requires a crane to be set up in the roadway. That section of roadway will be accessible for local traffic only, motorists are advised to be cautious when traveling near this work zone, and a police detail will be present to assist in directing traffic.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

City Awarded a Grant for a Habitat and Invasive Species Management Plan for Water Supply Land

City Awarded Grant for a Habitat and Invasive Species Management Plan for Water Supply Land

The City of Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW) was awarded a 2016 MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant (MHMGP) for $15,648 for habitat and invasive species management on a former apple orchard within the watershed to the Mountain Street Public Drinking Water Reservoir.  DPW proposes the removal of invasive shrubs and vines to maintain and improve early successional shrubland and young forest habitat.  Tree regeneration is completely lacking in the proposed project area and there is excessive growth of native grapevines and invasive oriental bittersweet. 

By managing invasive species, this project will benefit the 11.5 acre project site, and will also benefit 51.5 acres of adjacent water supply property. Adjacent water supply land is currently being logged to remove red pine plantations that are declining because of the invasive red pine scale.  Mulching and mowing the oriental bittersweet, multiflora rose and other invasive shrubs will reduce the seed source in the area and reduce the spread of invasive species into nearby forest stands.  The project goal  is to establish  an early successional forest comprised mostly of native species with residual apple trees and scattered forest trees. 

According to the 2015 Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), shrubland and early successional habitats are generally lacking within Massachusetts forests.  A number of games species and species listed in the SWAP will benefit from the changes in habitat including: black bear, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, gray squirrel, bobcat, coyote, red and gray fox, fisher and mink.  Other species that may use these areas include: North American racer, whip-poor-will, black-billed cuckoo, Nashville warbler, eastern towhee, prairie warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, field sparrow, brown thrasher, blue-winged warbler, white-throated sparrow and New England cottontail.  Many forest-breeding species utilize edge and early successional forest in post fledgling life stages, including wood thrush, scarlet tanager and broad-winged hawk.

Contact: James R. Laurila, P.E, Interim DPW Director