Montague Selectboard hires company to fix Montague City Road flooding issues

Water surges over Montague City Road after periods of heavy rainfall in 2018. After years of planning and exploring funding options, the Montague Selectboard has finally executed a $326,495 contract to remediate the recurring flooding issues.

Water surges over Montague City Road after periods of heavy rainfall in 2018. After years of planning and exploring funding options, the Montague Selectboard has finally executed a $326,495 contract to remediate the recurring flooding issues. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer

Published: 09-26-2023 2:39 PM

MONTAGUE — After years of planning and exploring funding options, the Selectboard has finally executed a $326,495 contract to remediate recurring flooding issues along Montague City Road.

“It’s been a long road,” Assistant Town Administrator Walter Ramsey said during Monday’s board meeting.

Flooding has been a recurring problem on the stretch of Montague City Road south of the intersection with Turnpike Road. Ramsey previously explained that the stream next to the road tends to overflow amid heavy rainstorms, washing into the road and making it impassable. The road had to be closed “at least six times” this July alone due to the month’s exceptionally heavy rainfall, he said.

A request for proposals (RFP) for the Montague City Road Flooding Relief Project was put out in 2018, but it wasn’t until Monday evening that a contractor was officially secured. According to Ramsey, Greenfield’s Clayton D. Davenport construction company beat out five other contractors to secure the job, with a bid quoted $54,000 less than the next low bid.

The $326,495 contract will primarily be funded using $237,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, while town-appropriated money will cover the rest of the cost after years of unsuccessfully pursuing additional grants. The contract also includes a 20% contingency to ensure all necessary variables are accounted for.

“There’s some flexibility there to make sure we get the project done right in compliance with the permit requirements for both the Army Corps [of Engineers] and the Department of Environmental Protection,” Ramsey explained to the Selectboard.

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The project “is engineered to accommodate a 100-year flood event through restoration of the floodplain and wetlands surrounding the channel,” according to a March 2022 Special Town Meeting warrant. Ramsey specified that work will involve reconstructing a stream channel, restoring wetlands adjacent to the stream and installing three catch basins along the road that are connected to an underground pipe.

“The goal is to adapt to seasonal roadway flooding using low-impact, nature-based solutions,” the 2018 request for proposals reads.

The Department of Public Works will prepare for the project by cleaning a culvert at the intersection of Montague City Road and Turnpike Road this week. This will “help get the flow going at the stream,” Ramsey explained. Then, Davenport will “do as much as they can” this fall.

Work may extend through winter in the case that wet autumn weather impedes necessary vegetation removal.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or jmendoza@recorder.com.