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Melrose DPW Tackling Post-Blizzard Problems

The Melrose Department of Public Works is addressing a couple significant post-blizzard issues, including a water main break near Upham and Rowe Streets.

The Melrose Department of Public Works is tackling a couple significant post-blizzard issues, including a water main break near Upham and Rowe Streets, according to a city press statement.

"There is a major water main break at Upham and Rowe (Streets)," reads the statement issued at about 6 p.m. Saturday. "Some DPW staff is being diverted to that water main break."

DPW crews could be seen at work on the water main break at roughly 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

"National Grid marked the street (with) orange paint. The DPW dug up the street (with) a jack hammer (and) backhoe," said Melrosian Karen Willis in an email to Melrose Patch, who observed the work being done by DPW. "They then jumped in the hole and dug up some more dirt (with) a shovel; pumped the water from the hole and began fixing the water main."

Additional details about the water main break were not immediately available.

DPW Staff Working Hard

By about 6 p.m. Saturday, most of the DPW crews had been working nearly 30 hours straight and with that the department decided to run a split shift overnight to avoid safety issues for drivers, according to the statement. There were DPW crews working throughout the night, the statement adds.

Sunday Plan

The full DPW staff of 75 vehicles was expected to reassemble Sunday morning at 6 for major snow operations, which will include re-plowing all streets, widening side streets, and hauling snow from dead ends, according to the statement.

"The second primary challenge Sunday is to remove snowbanks from corners and intersections. There are thousands of corners and intersections in the city. We understand that it is very hard to get on major streets due to the size of these snowbanks. That is unavoidable at this time," reads the statement. "It will take a longer period of time to remove this snow. That is why we are asking individuals to travel only when necessary and to use extreme caution. This is a multi-day cleanup."

The next phase of the cleanup will involve snow removal at the schools, approved sidewalk routes and adjacent areas, according to the statement.

"When we widen the side streets to get to catch basins and hydrants, it will push some snow back onto sidewalks and driveways. Our DPW understands this is frustrating for some people, but this is the only way to accomplish public safety and avoid potential flooding, since major rain is in the forecast next week," reads the statement. "The streets also need to be cleared to allow on-street parking for the rest of the winter. Without widening side streets, on-street parking would have to be limited or banned. DPW asks for your patience and cooperation in this historic storm."

The DPW is also dealing with the prospect of removing snow from difficult sections of the city, and removal of snow from those areas will take longer because of the manpower and trucks that are needed, according to the statement. The statement did not elaborate on which particular areas were presenting problems for the DPW.

The city anticipates the access roads being in better condition but they will still be limited, according to the statement.

"We are planning on removing snow from municipal parking lots and business districts; that will take place the first half of the week," reads the statement. "The priority right now must be intersections and streets."

Melrose Patch will provide more details related to these issues facing the DPW as we receive them. 

For all snow-related issues, contact the City Yard at 781-665-0142.

Check out our Melrose Storm Center page for regular updates related to the blizzard.

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Shane Egan February 10, 2013 at 05:17 PM
For the first 18-24 hours of the storm(Friday morning to Saturday early morning, it seemed like we were hearing the plows every hour or so. The roads, while covered with snow, seemed like they were good enough for emergency vehicles should they be needed. Then, by around Noon on Saturday until now, nothing...The road is still covered with the same two inches of packed snow. I live on a steep hill, Boston Rock Road, and any small car would not be able to get up it. My wife was driving this morning and said that the roads were terrible on Main Street and West Wyoming. As soon as she passed the Stoneham line, the streets were bare to the pavement. How are other areas of Melrose doing? It seems like someone dropped the ball here???

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