To the silent cheers of grateful residents, work crews sweltered through hot, steamy weather earlier this week to prepare Beach Street for a long-awaited repaving job.
With temperatures pushing into the 90s, crews spent three days grinding the existing cratered pavement from the surface of Beach Street and hauling it away in large dump trucks.
Almost exactly two miles in length, Beach Street is by far the longest thoroughfare slated for resurfacing this season. As a result the milling process, which had been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, continued on Wednesday at the North Street end.
In addition, it seems likely that at least some of the manholes and/or catch basins will need to be reconstructed and raised up before repaving can commence.
The roadway, a key connector linking Mechanic and North streets, had been sorely in need of repaving for years. However, town officials opted to delay the project in order to accommodate installation of a new water main and cross connectors to serve Beach Street homeowners.
The water project, initiated last fall, was shut down for the winter months, then revived this past spring. In addition to relining one of two existing water lines, the project required a series of residential service trenches to be excavated across Beach Street.
(A related project required a series of similar trenches across nearby Mechanic Street, which is also slated for resurfacing this season, according to the town highway department’s draft paving plan for 2019.)
While beholden to the work schedules of paving contractors, the town had hoped to let these trenches sit as long as possible to minimize the likelihood they would compact still further going forward, causing depressions along the newly paved surface.
Beach Street repaving is anticipated sometime in August.
In addition to Mechanic Street, two other neighborhoods have been slated for grinding and repaving this year: the road network in the Fisher Street area that includes Fisher, South High, Robert and James streets; and Grove and South Grove streets on the other side of Route 495 in South Foxboro.
RR crossing repairs
While outside contractors were moving forward with preparatory paving work on Beach Street, town highway personnel undertook provisional repairs to the Cocasset Street railroad crossing.
Permanent reconstruction of the Cocasset Street crossing had been expected this year by the state Rail and Transit Administration. But when that commitment proved untenable, the town opted to move forward on its own in an effort to provide temporary relief for local motorists.
Although permanent repairs had been made last year to both the Spring Street and North Street crossings, the crossings on Elm Street and Mechanic Street remain in deplorable condition.