Monday, June 4, 2007

Daniel/Jackson Construction, Week 1

First, the (relatively) straight news. Bright and early Saturday morning, a DPW crew broke ground on the new Daniel/Jackson St. intersection.

The first task was to add a new street drain at the new curb line and connect it to the existing drain (which will now be off the street, but will remain for access).
The crew dug up the section of asphalt between the existing drain and the new drain location. The existing drain is under the piece of metal in the lower foreground of the picture at left. The trench goes to the new drain location, which is just behind the bucket.

After this picture, they found some other pipes connecting to the existing drain. When they went to dig further, they hit a gas pipe.

That brought out the police, two fire trucks, including the massive and impressive new Tower Ladder 2, and NStar. It also ended construction for the day. A fire-fighter, police officer, and a crew member take a look at the broken pipe (with a rag sticking out).

NStar was on-site until after dark repairing the line. It's not all bad news. The line they repaired was probably the source of leaks in the neighborhood that many of us have reported over the last few years. That problem looks solved.

DPW will be back next week in two weeks to pick up where they left off.

The picture above shows the current state of construction, with son of NS&S who refused to get out of the picture.

Follow the jump for further thoughts.

What we learned on Saturday:

  • The crew from DPW was terrific. Very friendly and eager to hear how much we proponents were looking forward to the new curb.

  • The crew was were very sympathetic to our concerns about traffic and had all sorts of horror stories to tell about cars and trucks barreling by various constructions sites across town. Traffic is not a neighborhood-here, neighborhood-there problem, but a problem that touches all of us.

  • The crew reported that plenty of people stopped to complain, but almost all were complaining about the inconvenience, which is the point.

  • Turns out that traffic-calming construction is the best traffic calming. Daniel St was closed all day (and will be Saturdays until construction is complete). It was like heaven.

  • Closing Daniel Street was not heavenly for everyone. Our neighbors spent a few hours in our moccasins. Traffic diverted from the closed Daniel St. took Walter St. to Jackson. A Walter St. resident told wife of NS&S that he had no idea how bad traffic was on our street, and he walks Daniel St. regularly.

  • Our neighbor's sympathy for our plight was not universally shared. (Or, maybe I misunderstood my neighbors comment as sympathy.) The volume of traffic shifted to Walter St. sparked a petition campaign by Walter St. residents to halt the project. More on that in a different post.

  • Our street looks very small when there's a
    82,000 pound tower ladder truck barreling down it.

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