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Skillings Field Culvert Project Design and Permitting Underway

Jake San Antonio updated the Board of Selectmen on the current status  Project Six of the Aberjona River Flood Mitigation Culvert Project at Skillings Field on Monday, Jan. 27.

The project involves building a new 7’ by 15’ box culvert under Skilling’s Field to supplement the three 7’ in diameter culvert. It also includes some surface grading to restore the floodway.

After the November Town Meeting, VHP began the preliminary design, took additional test bits of the route and the design calculations and permits were drafted. They updated the cost estimate, totaling at $7.3 million in today’s dollars. Based on current the schedule, construction is planned for a majority of 2016, given a 3 percent cost escalation per year, putting the project at $7.7 Million, which was approved by Weston and Sampson Engineering.

Since the majority of the culvert project is under Skillings Field, which is going to be renovated as part of the high school project, the estimated cost saver of $700,000 would lower the project to $6.6 million. 

The preliminary design and permitting is currently underway. The project is scheduled to go out for bidding in September of this year in line with Phase One of the High School project. But based on the recent conversations with the architect, it was decided that it might be better to construct the culvert in line with Phase Three.

Working backwards from June 2016, VHS is recommending bidding in the fall of 2016, which gives them time to order materials and mobilize towards the site and start when school gets out. Construction is estimated to take a year. The contractor could get started on the Northern side of the field on the other side of the baseball field.

In support of design, sampling program conducted Sept. 2013. Identified oil/hazard mat in the soils above regulatory level, which triggers a notification of a regulated contingency plan from Mass DEP. This requires more sampling and classification one year from anniversary, and a more detailed sampling three years after finding will be due. It’s recommended that the project begin shortly in order to get a better understanding of the situation at the site.

Chairman Doug Marmon said that the Town had two years to find funding for this project. 

With the plan laid out, the Town will go to the drawing board for a plan to fund the construction, environmental concerns and costs.

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