Major Water Projects on Board for Mass. Ave. This Season

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) announced two major South End water main replacement project for Massachusetts Avenue and Blagdon/Worcester Street this coming work season – which begins on April 1.

Irene McSweeney, BWSC director of construction, appeared at the South End Forum on Tuesday night to give Moderator Steve Fox and the rest of the crowd a peek into the disruptions that would hit the neighborhood for the coming months.

First, a major water main project is scheduled to start by D’Allesandro Corporation on Massachusetts Avenue April 1, a project that includes Albany Street and others as well. However, the bulk of the work will be on the inbound side of Massachusettts Avenue from Albany Street to Tremont Street.

“This is a new project that D’Allesandro is doing,” she said. “It’s not the same one they did last year on Albany Street, although it does start on Albany Street.”

McSweeney said they work will start on Albany Street near the Boston Medical Center Emergency Room, and will turn the corner onto Massachusetts Avenue. That work will be done at night until they get to Harrison Avenue.

“When they get past Harrison, that is a more residential area so they will be working from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.. When they get to Chester Square, they’ll work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The contractor may be coming to you a little earlier in the morning to coordinate bypass connections.”

The most challenging part of the work for residents is losing parking spots, lane closures and water shut-offs to install the bypasses.

She said when they move into a new work zone, they will install a bypass and that will require about one day without water while they make the connections. Shutdowns last six hours on the average.

The work will last through the end of the year, and it will also include work on Northampton Street from Washington to Harrison Avenue, and also from Albany to Fellows Street.

Interestingly enough, further up Harrison Avenue, the contract will also be replacing 710 feet of water main between East Canton and Wareham Street – an area prone to water breaks in the past.

The East Newton Street portion of the contract is held up due to construction on the IC Church/Cosmopolitan project. McSweeney said jersey barriers used on the street are blocking access to the water main. They will return to complete that part of the job when the barriers are gone.

•A second major project is a continuation of a 2018 project done by Umbro on Shawmut and Clarendon. Last year, crews finished work on Shawmut between West Brookline and Massachusetts Avenue. They also finished water main/drainage work on Clarendon Street from Stuart to Stanhope Streets.

This year, Umbro is returning to finish out the work.

They will once again be on Worcester Street where they will attempt to complete water main work between Tremont and Shawmut. That is pending completion of work by National Grid. Last year, the lockout by National Grid help up a good deal of the work on Worcester Street.

Water main work will also begin on April 1 at Blagden Street as part of the contract.

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