Acton Road Committee Meeting
April 15, 2019
Committee Members Present: Cindy Hart, Leslie Berlan, Jay Ward and Brendan Meehan. Chuck Gregory excused. Also present Select Board member Elise Miller.
Meeting opened with the Salute to the Flag at 5:00
Motion by Jay Ward to nominate Leslie Berlan for temporary chair of the Acton Road Committee. Second by Cindy Hart. Unanimous vote to confirm Leslie Berlan.
1) 7th Street status - Table awaiting action on town ordinances.
2) RSMS status update. Table awaiting action on town ordinances.
3) Rowe Bridge - Leslie Berlan updated status of the Rowe Bridge. Visited bridge and took videos of ongoing water erosion. Dennis Long spoke about problem with the culvert clogged and not functioning properly. Concern with dangerous erosion with snow melting and spring rains.
a) Canal Bridge - real concerns about support abutments are compromised and in need of attention.
4) Blank grant application packet for stream crossings prepared and distributed. Discussion about the importance of applying for grants which would save Acton a lot of money for the critical work needed on bridges and culverts.
Road Commissioner Update
H Road culvert - Galvanized steel on both ends and some old concrete culvert in the middle. Most likely would have the culvert slip lined which would cause the least disruption of traffic flow as the road has to remain open and passible. Should be three days to complete with one lane of traffic. Talking to EJ Prescott for information. Would need a permit. Call to the state for inspection of the 30” pipe.
West Shore Drive culvert. Would be done in the same manner as H Road, with slip line process. Would be more complicated and more disruption than H Road. Need to get the application process started.
Road Committee and Road Commissioner Ordinances
Leslie Berlan read an open letter outlining problems and deficiencies with the Road Commissioners and Road Committee ordinances as written by the Board of Selectman. Copy of Leslie Berlan are attached to these minutes.
Gavin Mooney - asked who has been in contact with town officials from Wakefield concerning the Canal Bridge which is shared responsibility of Wakefield and Acton. He referenced state law about the duty of elected road commissioners.
David Langley - spoke about leaving the past behind and begin working together as the Board of Selectman, Road Commissioners and Road Committee to get the important services done in an efficient and effective manner. Said the Road Commissioners had no opportunity to ad their input to the presented Road Commissioners Ordinance.
Joyce Bashir - spoke about how the town needs to do better to act on bridge and culvert problems quicker. Reported that the West Shore Drive culvert was inspected by the state in February 2018 and the deficiencies have yet to be addressed. Like much of the town, West Shore Drive culvert was built with a 20 year lifespan and it is now into its 21st year.
Gavin Mooney asked what the standard method was for cleaning culverts. He was answered by David Langley that most cleaning is mechanical. Hydrovac trucks are very expensive and need a water source to work. Also, there remains a dumping liability with the material on the Hydrovac truck.
Dennis Long - publicly thanked David Langley for the great work filling in for the vacated Road Commissioner. The town really appreciates stepping up in a critical time.