Gloucester DPW working on Hartz street. Scenes before and after paving November 2019. Finishing touches (sidewalks and top coat) slated for April.
Gloucester DPW crews are restoring the old stone fence along Washington Street/Rt 127 between the Annisquam footbridge and Annisquam Church. They are filling and resetting capstone and top stone along its length and attending to areas of greater disrepair. The fence on this route has been hit by cars more than once. Estimates for contracting the work went far outside the department’s budget. Thankfully, Gloucester DPW is up to the city maintenance of a traditional public works build. They began the job last week (see below)
So far- Gloucester DPW is just a fraction of the way into this project. They’ll tackle sections at a time.
Gloucester DPW repaired the stone wall at Goose Cove (also hit)
Before (Google Street view) / After
More back to school beauty…
Leveraging complete streets and Chapter 90 funding, Gloucester’s DPW is completing a big project on Cherry Street at O’Maley. Sidewalk and street improvements follow along Cherry towards Reynard, stretching straight through to Washington Street. The work will be completed in a week or so.
Gloucester DPW projects along Rogers by Cape Ann Savings Bank and Minglewood include necessary sidewalk and ADA crosswalk construction as well as remedying the pooling puddles at Minglewood and by St. Peter’s. They should be completed this week!
Between Good Habor Beach and Long Beach Dairy Maid, DPW manages a long standing issue of poor drainage. They’re testing clearing and rough grading at this stage.
What’s happening on Stacy Boulevard? That Department of Public Works (DPW) project involves the main interceptor sewer cleaning and inspection which is an every 7-10 year process.
At the western edge, Yella on the Water staff training took place outside on their new deck. They refurbished the parking lot and completed the accessibility ramp.
Along Rogers Street, Building Center and Gloucester House are busy with construction. A bit further down, DPW is improving the Rose Baker Senior Center parking lot, completing “just the binder for now, then on to ramps and finally top coat.”
Waterfront businesses require unusual maintenance like pier infratstructure maintenance. Gloucester House has been in business since 1958. I wonder how long the pilings last? The trio of wharf booths for special adventures there include Gloucester Boat Rental, the Thomas Lannon, & 7 Seas Whalewatch.
Helping people move safely and easily throughout the city is a contant Gloucester Department of Public Works directive. One recent construction project with CDBG ADA funds that’s fast finishing will be a welcome addition in the neighborhood along School Street between Prospect & Proctor, before the Gloucester Fire Department and back of the library. The new sidewalks extend roughly .10 mile each side. Expect some road closure to cars and no parking through May 10th. I’ll post Before/After pictures when the work’s complete.
In the meantime, here is a completed Before/After sequence- the evolution of the Duncan Street sidewalk and road repairs September-October 2018.
There is much exciting work in progress along Stacy Boulevard including welcome tributes to women. Incremental aesthetic improvements, public access, ease of movement, and celebration of culture require many hands and deliver a huge impact. Here is a brief description of the special current projects and some people involved.
“Remarkable support comes from volunteer expertise like award winning designer Ann Geraldi Johnson and Susan Kelly and the Generous Gardeners who have stepped up as the city’s groundskeepers on the boulevard.” Mike Hale, Director of Public Works
The Elizabeth Gordon Smith (Betty Smith) garden was cleared and the small Picture garden past the boulevard tennis courts was unearthed. Because Gloucester garden groups pre-date 1900, it’s especially moving to see the work in progess shoring up inspiring legacy connections. Incredible volunteers past and present serve the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Stacy Boulevard & Stage Fort Park advocates like Betty Smith, Louise Loud & the Gloucester Civic & Garden Council tended and protected Gloucester’s natural beauty — the very same grounds that are so lovingly served now by dynamos like Ann Gilardi Johnson and Susan Kelly & the Generous Gardeners. Plaques for Lucy Brown Davis, tribute by her sister Catalina Davis, and for Lucy P. Rogers ” president of the Gloucester’s Woman’s Club 1927-29″ are nearby.
photos: Betty Smith garden IN PROGRESS February (overgrowth and clearing underway–poison ivy was found) vs. March and can’t wait to experience the AFTER!
Continue reading “Stacy Boulevard: Walker Hancock Triton sculpture, Betty Smith gardens & tennis courts to the East, and Blynman Bridge & railings to the West – more stunning investment #GloucesterMA thanks to DPW, Ann Gilardi Johnson, Generous Gardeners, CPA, DOT”
March 2019 work continuing across Stacy Boulevard – read details HERE about these projects– Hancock Sculpture, Betty Smith Gardens & Tennis Courts to the East, and Blynman Bridge & railings to the West- additional stunning work and investment thanks to Gloucester MA Department of Public Works, Ann Gilardi Johnson, Generous Gardeners, CPA, Department of Transportation (DOT), and more. Stacy Boulevard Part 8
March 24, 2019 photos of Walker Hancock Triton and grounds prep before/in process.
Dog walkers and surfers crossed paths with Kevin and Gary from K & R Construction and Rockport Department of Public Works (DPW) on site setting up a new phase for Long Beach seawall repairs. Two roughly 500 feet lengths of rip rap extending out 15-18 feet (tapered) will be built up beginning just past the first stairs near red cottage 20 Long Beach. Sand will be added later as part of this phase. A steel road plate path was set in at the Gloucester Mass staging entrance so equipment won’t get stuck. Last year smaller forklifts and dump trucks shuttled boulders for patch rip rap.
Slow and steady– truck is LOADED (and another sets up straight away)
Spectacular City Hall, Gloucester’s cultural landmark and active municipal building, has nearly reached its 150th milestone at 9 Dale Avenue. Rising from the ashes, construction began in 1870 after the Gloucester fire of 1869 consumed its short-lived precursor. Gridley J.F. Bryant & Louis P. Rogers, leading architects at this time, were awarded the commission. Massive disaster response came two years later: the Great Boston Fire wiped out scores of Bryant designed buildings and the firm was awarded a significant percentage of its own rebuilds.
City Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973… which means the research and preparations leading up to that designation timed with its centennial birthday.Recently the expansive floors in Kyrouz Auditorium were buffed and polished and not for the first time. 150 years! Imagine all the footsteps and the generations of staff and volunteers that have cared for this building and community.
Credit DPW for their professionalism and kindness, and steadfast support for the city’s culture. Note their extra caution for protecting heritage from airborne material: mural and portraits were covered.
Before / After
City Hall looks stunning always- BEFORE shots
during (these two photos shared with me)
“Hale said the Woburn-based firmof Heimlich Landscaping and constracting which installed the stands and track in 2013, is heading up the repair work wiht inkind design assistance from CDM Smith of Boston…
“It was safe, and it would have been safe. It just looked bad–it looked old when it was still new. But this administration wants to be sure to fix it. We want this to be good product, and a good long-term investment.”
City of Gloucester officials are working towards a Phase 3 for the Haskell Pond Dam reconstruction which I wrote about last week (Part 1). I included information about the original monumental build. In response, Bruce Roberts was kind enough to share these amazing photographs of the impressive crews at the Haskell Pond construction site 1901. Bonus: they were annotated by his grandfather in 1958. West Gloucester families may recognize a surname or two, maybe a family resemblance. Please help ID if you can.
Bruce Roberts explains: “My grandfather, Edward F. Roberts, identified the individuals back in 1958. There are some folks he didn’t recognize, since he would have been pretty young when these images were taken. The first picture has the most identified individuals. One thing that has always been remarkable to me in the second image is how much Chester Andrews, my g-grandfather, resembled my father, Eugene Roberts, at that age.”
HASKELL’S POND CONSTRUCTION ca.1901-02 – (Individuals ID’d by Edward Roberts in 1958)
Photo 1, Dec 1901 (in snow): “Wood Choppers at Haskell’s Pond, December 1901”
Front Row, L-R: 1. Otis Lufkin, 2. Matt Poland, 3. Loren (sp?) Harris, 4. Melvin Wilkins, 5. Jim White
Back Row: 1.Asa Sargent, 2. unknown, 3. Ed Lufkin, 4. James Chadbourne, 5. Joseph Abbott, 6. unknown, 7. Joshua Roberts, 8 & 9. unknown
Photo 2 (late 1901 or early 1902):
Front, L-R: 1. Loren Harris, 2 & 3. unknown, 4. Asa Sargent
Center, w/ white shirt: Eps Walter Haskell
3rd row: (Right side, behind Asa Sargent, in light coat): Chester Andrews
(2nd to left from Chester Andrews): Fred Jeffs
Last month I was fortunate to glimpse the impressive Haskell’s Pond Dam reconstruction orchestrated by Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Protecting and managing water utilities can be easy to take for granted. “This not so sleepy dam by Rt. 128 continues to deliver almost 30% of the city’s water,” exclaimed Larry Durkin, City Environmental Engineer. He explained that years ago the DPW team began assessing the city’s water infrastructure and compliance requirements including what would happen during an event storm. Haskell’s Pond Dam needed attention: The reconstruction was projected to cost 2 million (based on the preliminary plans and the recent Babson Reservoir repair). Phase I and II were contracted out to SumCo Eco Contracting and the estimates were correct. The project cost two million and the work is largely completed thanks to grants and loans from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Commonwealth’s Dam and Seawall Program. DPW Director, Mike Hale, and Larry Durkin concur: “They are fabulous to work with.” Discovery was anticipated. While drilling it was determined that the Haskell Pond Dam was indeed not structurally stable, and a MAJOR fix would be required to bring the dam into compliance. The DPW team is working with the state to fund the critical work of Phase 3.
Until then, take time to enjoy its history. While checking out the 2018 progress, I pulled stories and stats from the Haskell’s Pond Dam original build In 1902. As with today, the dam work was regarded a model project. State assistance and contracted elements were required then, too. The numerous links among these two century projects are a fascinating delve and described below. The evolving breaking news in 1902 kicked off with a bang, surprising lawsuits (next stop for one could be Supreme Court), and deft leadership. Readers and history buffs will recognize names. (Tarr ancestors were involved; were yours?)
panorama and contemporary photos – Like a mini Walden pond- Haskell’s Pond during Dam reconstruction Gloucester, MA ©c ryan July 7, 2018.
Scope for Phase 1 & 2: Construction of a new concrete spillway chute, concrete repairs, clearing of trees and unwanted vegetation and valve replacement at an earthen embankment dam within the City’s active water supply system, and more (A prior $175,000 grant from the state’s Dam and Seawall Program was awarded to support “engineering, permitting and the development of construction documents” which established scope for Phase 1)
Contractor: SumCo Eco Contracting,
Status: largely completed
Mayor: Mayor Romeo Theken
DPW Director: Mike Hale
City Environmental Engineer: Lawrence A. Durkin, P.E.
Project start (historic): 1902
Modern project start: 2013-18; RFP for Phase I issued: March 15, 2017
Total project cost: estimated to be $7 million
Funding Awarded to date: $1,925,000
|1||Design & permitting grant FY 2016||$175,000||Completed 6/30/16|
|2||Haskell Phase 1 Construction Grant FY 2017||$500,000||Closed 6/30/17 and City reimbursed|
|3||Haskell Phase 1 Construction Loan FY 2018||$500,000||Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement|
|4||Haskell Phase 2 Construction Grant FY 2018 (Applied to Phase 1 change orders)||$500,000||Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement|
|5||Additional FY 2018 EEA, funds applied to Phase 1 change orders||$250,000||Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement|
|6||Haskell Phase 2 Full FY 2019 Grant, to be applied to Phase 3||$500,000||to be realized if Phase 3 goes forward in FY 2019|
|7||EEA Total to date||$1,925,000||$500,000|
Phase 3: Some future phase was anticipated, though obviously impossible to nail down until Phase 1 & 2 were completed. The reconstruction was based on discovery put into works five or more years ago as Durkin and DPW team assessed city’s watersheds. The dam has been deemed unstable and will require a major fix to be compliant. According to Durkin, the scope for Phase 3 will include “a secant concrete wall to be drilled and concrete along the dam crest for its entire length, cored in the bedrock beneath dam for structural stability and a concrete parapet wall tied into the secant wall that provides the necessary containment for the maximum storm as defined by the state” and some exicting ancillary projects I’ll write more about in a future update. Phase 3 is estimated to cost 5 million and DPW is working on grants with the state to ensure that it happens.
Location(s): West Gloucester
Priority: Mayor Romeo Theken’s Office-City consider water highest priority – this one continues to provide 1/3 of the city’s water
before photos courtesy DPW ca.2014 / after photos ©c ryan 2018
Reviewing the ordeal that was constructing the dam– one hundred and six years ago –is a fascinating read, and helped me appreciate the major job it’s been in 2018. The original dam construction was contentious and hence the top news story of 1902 and years prior. While researching its beginnings, I was struck by just how many areas of concern and themes of city governance from 1902 remain relevant in 2018. Here’s a short list: the financial condition of the city (“revaluation”), suitable allocations, considering work on Rogers Street, water costs, heroic solo sails, possible steel bridge over Annisquam, Burnham Field play ground, pros and cons of tourism, disagreement over what is considered sound development, new theater on Main Street, announcing state grants, eminent domain, boundary lines, Gloucester Fresh, cut bridge in bad condition, aiming to keep work in town when possible, Stage Fort Park tributes, environmentally friendly innovations, sustainability, access and oodles of local politics- Office of Mayor and City Council, city staff, committees, and commissions.
The excerpts below pertain to Haskell’s pond dam from 1902 Gloucester Daily Times archives that I pulled from reels at Sawyer Free and transcribed for easy access. Plans and maps are courtesy of Mike Hale and the Department Public Work team. Links to high resolution versions are provided at the end of the post.
January 4, 1902 – MAYOR FRENCH LOSES: Aldermen Vote to Exonerate Water Commissioners
It has been a long time since I’ve brought a tiny boat through the Cut from the Annisquam side (alert and praying I wouldn’t slam into the walls or another boat as the waters rush and pull). How were ducks faring? They were amusing and difficult to count for a few stolen moments on this glorious summer day. They’d dive to eat what I’m not sure, and pop up, sometimes a bit too far back. Once they were under so long I found myself crossing to the other side of the bridge to see if they were dragged back or catching a ride. Not a chance.
I found the completed winter storm repairs at the Cut equally beautiful and distracting.
Nice job Gloucester Department of Public Works (DPW)!
VID (38 seconds) ducklings negotiate current at the Cut (wait for the cluster to pop up)
March 2017 (winter storm damage) Continue reading “sweet ducklings navigate the current at the Cut alongside Gloucester DPW lovely storm repairs”
In 2017, donations of $650,000 were secured to preserve four acres of Lobster Cove acquired by Essex County Greenbelt Ed Becker and Dave Rimmer working with the city staff (DPW Mike Hale, Ken Whittaker, Community Development) and many in the community. The property is co-owned by Mt. Adnah Cemetery.
Recently DPW teamed up with Greenbelt to scrub out trees, rocks, earth and stone to grade a pedestrian path along its Leonard Street stretch at the landing past Annisquam Church. Widening Leonard Street because of its variable and intermittent scale would be a very expensive and perhaps unwelcome project. This quick jaunt seems like a thoughtful solution to support safe access and property exploration in a tricky spot.
No longer hidden by overgrowth, beautifully balanced granite outcroppings were exposed. If you look just so you might see the lines of a baby shorebird under wing or is that just me? Hmmm… Mother Ann, Squam Rock and baby Bird Rock.
What a stunner day for the next phase of the Long Beach seawall repair. They’re loading and raking in fill to level the walkway today. Roller still to come.
speedy backing up
this way and that still to come