WEYMOUTH- A considerable amount of flooding has occurred over the years on Randolph Street and Relda Road, but these annoyances should be reduced after a new dam is built at Great Pond.
Department of Public Works engineer Andrew “Chip ” Fontaine said workers have been busy replacing outdated drainage systems on Randolph Street in anticipation of the dam’s construction since early June.
“The new dam will have a stainless steel sluice gate to allow better control of the outflow of water when necessary,” he said. “It will prevent flooding near the dam.”
A study by the town’s design consultant, Pare Corporation of Foxboro, determined the existing dam has an inadequate capacity to handle high pond waters levels from storms greater than a 50-year frequency.
A town summary states the dam has areas of unwanted vegetation in addition to deteriorating conditions on a concrete spillway, sluiceway, portions of a conduit, and attached walls, which function as the barrier’s outlet.
Fontaine said some streets near the dam would flood when the water in Great Pond increased to a higher than the desired level during a prolonged rain period.
Severe flooding occurred near the reservoir and elsewhere in Weymouth during March and April 2010 because of an unusual period of heavy rain. The flooding prompted former Mayor Susan Kay to declare a state of emergency.
Dam construction includes roadway drainage
Fontaine said workers are currently replacing the drainage systems on Randolph Street, and National Grid has installed two updated gas mains.
“We have provided a sleeve under a new culvert that has been placed under the street,” he said. “The sleeve would allow for a potential new sewer main to be placed.”
Fontaine said the dam’s replacement and its accompanying infrastructure would be completed by T Ford Company, Inc., of Georgetown.
The upgrades will include replacing an existing undersized culvert with a larger concrete spillway that can handle water flow from Great Pond to the Mill River without flooding nearby streets and properties.
“We will have a major milestone when we receive a precast concrete culvert, which should happen in two and a half weeks,” Fontaine said. “That should hopefully allow us to reopen Randolph Street to through traffic by early- to mid-September.”
A portion of Randolph Street has been completely closed to through traffic since mid-June.
Drivers that seek to access South Weymouth destinations are being detoured near the pond to Forest Street and then onto Columbian Street.
Fontaine said construction of the new dam should get underway within, “the next week or so.”
“They wanted to get work done on the roadway first so they could reopen the road as soon as possible,” he said.
Fontaine said the roadway work, as well as planned upcoming dam construction, is “on schedule.”
State grant is financing upgrades
The upgrades are being partially financed under a $782,700 state grant awarded to Weymouth in October 2018.
The grant was among $10.2 million distributed to various communities through the state’s Dam and Sewall Repair or Removal Program under the authorization of Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration.
According to State Sen. Patrick O’Connor, R- Weymouth, lawmakers created the program in 2013 to assist communities and groups across the state with remedying deteriorating dams and refurbishing critical coastal infrastructure.
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