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July 09. 2014 9:48PM

Bedford to decide on sewer/water line extension

BEDFORD — As the town anticipates the state Department of Transportation’s plan to improve Route 101, the Town Council is planning to extend the sewer and water line along a section of the highway.

Residents will be asked to allow the council to expend $112,000 from the town’s sewer enterprise funds to design the infrastructure improvement project from Nashua Road to the Hill-Brook Motel near Wallace Road. The public hearing will take place Wednesday, July 16 at 7 p.m., at 10 Meetinghouse Road.

The design must be submitted to the DOT in October before the state finalizes its construction design. The town’s design would identify the proper elevations and locations of pipes crossing under Route 101 to coincide with the DOT’s highway construction project scheduled for 2017-18.

“Sewer and water extensions are being viewed as a means of stimulating and accommodating economic development along that section of 101,” said Town Manager Steve Daly. “In addition, there are environmental and private infrastructure burdens on the land that come under consideration, not to exclude the repetitive costs of replacing private infrastructure. Pursuing extension of the utility infrastructure along that section of 101 is one of the Town Council goals for this year.”

The sewer project and pumping station is estimated to cost the town $3.5 million, of which the council will seek approval of a bond by ballot vote.

Daly said the state will not share any costs of the design nor fund any municipal sewer and water relocations and extensions.

“However, by coordinating the work with the DOT’s widening project, Bedford will position itself to build the utility extensions in the future, if not during the DOT project. If we don’t provide a design to the DOT, they could inadvertently lay their drainage system for the road in locations and at elevations that conflict with where we would place our utilities,” said Daly. “At the very least, the DOT has offered to install sleeves under 101 for our future piping, provided we can tell them where and at what elevations to place them.”

While the proposed sewer/water project would provide service along the Route 101 commercial area, as yet there are no future plans to extend sewer and water lines to neighboring streets and homes.

“It would be shortsighted for us not to look ahead to further extensions, although the impact of potential densification of our residential neighborhoods must be taken into account. I would hope and expect that maintaining the existing character of our residential neighborhoods will be a high priority,” he said.

The $15.6 million Route 101 improvement plan will widen the highway to two lanes, eastbound and westbound, for two miles from the Route 114 intersection to Wallace Road. The project includes a curbed median strip, sidewalks and landscaping, as well as improvements to the Route 101 intersections at Old Bedford Road and Constitution Drive, Meetinghouse Road and Nashua Road.

sclark@newstote.com


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