Friday, May 16, 2003
DPW noncommittal on Maple Street
Department of Public Works Superintendent Gary Davis is a man of few words when it comes to replacement of the collapsed culvert on Maple Street. So if anyone is hoping to resume use of that scenic route from East Street to Bedford Road sometime soon, he shouldn't count on its being open. Granted that some residents of Maple Street are happy with the year-long ban on through traffic, phone calls received at the Mosquito suggest that they do not constitute a majority of the population.
In a brief telephone interview earlier this week, Davis was gently reminded that during a November 7 public hearing before the Conservation Commission, in which he received final approval of engineering specifications for a 16-foot pre-cast concrete replacement structure with new footings and headwalls, he had estimated that the structural work could be completed in about a week once all the materials were on site, and if the weather cooperated the road might even be paved before winter closed in. Davis gave a wry, "Yeah, I know," and then, in turn, reminded the interviewer of the early advent of a uniquely severe winter, the resulting high water in Page's Brook that made construction impossible and finally an unanticipated need to revise the specs for one of the footings.
Asked if the waters were now low enough to allow the work to get under- way, he was noncommittal but did say he would "get the machinery down there sometime next week." To a follow-up question as to whether the materials for the job were now on hand, he responded in the affirmative, adding that only a few minor and easily accessible items remained to be acquired. With these positive auguries established, the interviewer's next question seemed logical, "When do you expect the project might be completed?"
Davis's first reply was predictable. "I don't want to give a definite date. I've been proven wrong too many times before." To a plea for some kind of broad estimate, he responded that "difficult scheduling problems" made it impossible to say, then added that he knew the newspaper was trying to get a definite date, but reiterated that he was not prepared to name one. Pressing him but trying not to be obnoxious, the interviewer then asked, "Well, could you say whether we're talking weeks or months?' The answer, delivered firmly and in an equally good-natured tone, was, "I said I would get the machinery out there next week • That's my answer."
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