Northfield, Warwick apply for road reconstruction grant

  • Warwick Road in Northfield, which connects the towns of Northfield and Warwick, may soon see repairs following dual submissions of MassWorks grant applications from the two towns. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Warwick Town Coordinator David Young says that two sections of Northfield Road have been resurfaced and a final section remains. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Warwick Road in Northfield, which connects the towns of Northfield and Warwick. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/12/2019 1:00:48 AM

Northfield residents and their Warwick neighbors may see repairs coming to the well-traveled Warwick and Northfield roads, following dual submissions of MassWorks grant applications from the towns.

Following the Warwick Selectboard’s Aug. 5 meeting, Chairman Lawrence “Doc” Pruyne sent a letter to Housing and Economic Development Secretary Michael Kennealy requesting support for the two grant applications.

“This roadway is not only important for residents of Northfield, but for residents of neighboring towns like Warwick who travel between these two towns regularly to go to work or school,” the letter reads.

Warwick students take Northfield Road — which turns into Warwick Road in Northfield — to Pioneer Valley Regional School every day during the school year, and it serves as a main connecter to the town’s back-up ambulance and fire services from Northfield. Pruyne noted that the road “gets treacherous” in the winter, due to deteriorating conditions. He said it will need repairs to culverts and to be repaved.

Warwick Highway Advisory Committee member and Selectman Todd Dexter echoed Pruyne’s request, noting that Northfield was also applying for a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to repair its side, known as Warwick Road.

“Every person in town, and out of town, who travels that road is effected,” Dexter said.

In a Wednesday email, Warwick Town Coordinator David Young urged residents to send him letters addressed to Kennealy expressing how the road repairs would benefit the entire town of Warwick.

“Matters of public safety are paramount,” Young said in the email.

According to Young, Northfield Road/Warwick Road has been broken up into three sections. While two sections have been resurfaced, the last leg remains.

Warwick has already been working with Gill Engineering of Needham to design an engineering plan for rebuilding Northfield Road, starting at the town line. Warwick is also writing a Small Town Road Assistance Program (STRAP) grant application for the fiscal year 2021 construction season, which will confer with Northfield and ensure the work at the town line is constructed properly to meet Massachusetts Department of Transportation requirements.

“The town cannot afford to do the work, so we need this grant” Pruyne said.

Dexter explained that the Warwick Highway Advisory Committee, along with Highway Superintendent Larry Delaney, have been working on the grant application for a year with help from Keith Nelson of Gill Engineering.

According to Gill Engineering, the total cost of the project that Warwick has applied for is $50,000. This includes everything from the cost of writing the grant application and data collection, to labor and final site inspections.

The project would be conducted in two phases, with the first having been collecting data and estimates for the scope of the project and grant application. Phase 2, permitting the grant’s approval, would include design plans and preparation and the actual construction.

A Gill Engineering project proposal states the work would involve milling and paving 1.75 miles of Northfield Road from the Northfield/Warwick line to Bass Road. Additional work will include replacing the existing guard rail system to meet current standards, replacing curbs and replacing bridge railing. Minor concrete surface repairs will also be done on the bridge’s abutments.

Meanwhile, Northfield Selectboard Chairman Alex Meisner confirmed Friday that Northfield submitted an application for a $1 million grant through Chapter 90, which entitles cities and towns to receive reimbursements on approved projects.

An additional $15,000 would come from town funds, Meisner said. If approved, the grant would be used for replacements or improvements to guard rails, drainage, repaving and more.

“The work would be conducted from the Warwick town line going about 800 feet into Northfield,” Meisner said.

According to Dexter, the grant applications are the final steps in trying to receive state funding to rebuild the road.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Dexter said, “seeing how both towns will be working on improving this same road at the same time.”

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.


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