In recent years our infrastructure has undergone major upgrades to modernize aging areas and increase reliability and safety. As can be seen across Framingham, that work will continue for quite some time. While vital to Framingham’s future, I always wonder what impact the construction has on our local residents/businesses and on the views of those who visit Framingham. I start to ask myself questions like:
- Can we reduce the length of time each project takes?
- What are the costs and are there certain areas where the costs may outweigh the benefits? Every dollar counts.
- Is this the best use of, or the most beneficial project for our precious tax dollars?
With respect to recent and on-going projects in the reservoirs area, my observations are (and I hope they are yours too):
Winter Street Bridges – the bridge over the CSX tracks has been under construction for so long now, I forget when it started. Our neighbors, businesses, and visitors have, at best, dealt with the blight of lengthy construction. However, they have also endured temporarily lower property values, loss of business, and increased traffic flows in a residential area. I understand that working above moving trains is tough and dangerous and I am personally not a big fan of heights. I do ask myself though: Why couldn’t a unique arrangement be created that allowed demolition of the old bridge in one weekend, or for construction to continue into the night when there are fewer trains? While it may cost more in labor costs, such a plan could significantly reduce the project’s length and the impact of this vital bridge on our community.
All of this doesn’t even touch upon the Winter Street Bridge over the Sudbury River that underwent a major rehabilitation a few years ago. While rehabbed, it will likely need to undergo possible replacement in the next decade simply because an appropriate design could not be settled on in a timely manner the first go-round. This duplication of work will again increase our taxes.
Mount Wayte Avenue Bridge – the one that carries you, me, and thousands of other vehicles across it every day, had its deck milled down last fall and substructure work started. However, instead of finishing by winter, work was delayed. The deck was then re-paved (costing money), to then be milled down, yes again, this spring. Over a month later, it continued to be an eye-sore and an enemy of our daily travels. Very recently the deck was thankfully smoothed out, but construction continues. Hopefully it will not need to be re-milled yet again.
Framingham Train Station Staircase – this newest one is my personal favorite. If a broken escalator is just a staircase, what do you call a staircase with no stairs? This project should have been done long ago and well before the new parking lot was opened, which itself has greatly increased the use of the stairs. Now though, due to poor planning, commuters are stuck waiting for a small and slow elevator. None of us are happy and I can tell you from experience, frustrations are running high, the language is no longer clean, and we are only two weeks into a fourteen week project.
If elected, I will bring sorely needed new ideas, perspectives, and approaches to our city to combat these inefficiencies and help us prosper. As such, I humbly ask the residents of District 6 for their vote for City Council on September 26th.
Candidate for Framingham City Council – District 6