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The Yankee Express

Highway superintendent gives update on Webster road work

Motorists entering the town of Webster will encounter a number of road construction projects that are due to be completed soon.


According to the town of Webster’s website, the following roads are scheduled for utility updates beginning in January and running through March. The National Grid Gas Division has scheduled the roadwork in order to install new gas main replacements. Residents and drivers are asked to exercise caution when negotiating the following byways of town:
• East Main Street/Route 12 (Worcester Road)
• Thompson Road Intersection – East Main Street to Second Island Road 
• Thompson Road/Kosmas Street 
• Lake Street/Thompson Road Intersection 
• Racicot Avenue
As many residents are aware, there has been much water and sewer main road construction in the Lake Street area as well and Highway Superintendent Ken Pizzetti stated that due to road construction supply hold-ups it will be a few more months before completion of the project. The backup in construction is expected to last until April of this year.
“By the time road settlement occurs in a 60-day period, the road should be finished and striped by August,” he said, “and if all goes well, the road may be finished earlier but with supplies being delivered later than expected, we are being cautious with our completion dates. We have no control over the manufacturers. So much depends upon the winter weather which is so unpredictable. Temperatures could be 30 degrees for three days and then 50 degrees for the next three days delaying the supplier’s manufacturing process.”
National Grid’s nine-year new gas main project is nearing its end in the Webster area. Webster’s gas main replacement project is most likely in its seventh year. “National Grid has the capability to dig and complete their projects through the winter,” Mr. Pizzetti said. “This will allow us to pave in the spring and summer. With a decent winter, we might have three of their street projects finished soon. We have to allow the road to settle first and then paving can begin. We’re definitely ahead of the curve based on their timeline. The rest of Granite Street is on the schedule too. We hope to begin the remainder of the Granite Street project by April 1st.”
The old steel gas pipes were more susceptible to leakage. The new gas main material is rated to have a 100-year life and is manufactured using a high performance, bi-modal, medium density polyethylene resin which exceeds industry standards and provides excellent environmental stress crack resistance and outstanding long-term stress rupture performance and the trenching is cleaned and packed well once the new mains are installed. 
When asked about how the highway department treats the local roads in winter, Mr. Pizzetti explained that pre-treated salt is used. “All road salt is EPA-rated,” he said, “it’s safer for the environment and is just a better product. Road materials are much better too. When treating the roads during the winter you just don’t put a cost on the material used as it’s a public safety issue. Webster was one of the first towns in the area to use pre-treated salt resulting in neighboring town highway departments visiting us and observing the product usage and its better results. It saves us money in the long run and is much better for road cleaning too. There’s no use for sand anymore which also saves money on road cleaning. There’s a lot of planning that goes into the clearing of our roads when snow and ice hits. We keep our snowplows in great shape and are well organized with a great crew. They are a very talented group. We hold monthly meetings for updates and for obtaining feedback from our staff.”

Contact Janet:  [email protected]