Merriam Street Gets Shut Down… Again
In a Special Report, the Owl investigates allegations that Merriam Street will never be open again. Or fully open. Or perhaps “reliably open.” When the Department of Public Works invests in a metal street sign with “Merriam Street Closed Ahead”, what are you to think? This is no temporary duct tape and poster board jobby.
For those of you who are not Merriam Street aficionados, let me catch you up. Over the seven years that the Owl has called Weston home, Merriam Street has been closed at least 60% of the time. Oh, all right, that’s an exaggeration but I would have to say that once a year at least it has been closed for a month or so for various events…utility digging, paving, digging again, sidewalk, boardwalk, paving, bridge repair, Pats victory parade…nope, scratch last one.
This time I asked Tom Cullen, DPW Director, what was going on, and the answer was provided by Steve Fogg, our Town Engineer. Drainage. Apparently this town that is covered with wetlands does not have good drainage. First Hallett Hill was closed for new pipes, and now it is Merriam’s turn.
From Steve Fogg’s actual email: “The contractor is working on Merriam to install two sets of catch basins and connecting pipes to the Hallett Hill drain, a total of about 500 linear feet of pipe. That is expected to take two to three weeks or so depending on the extent to which ledge is encountered which slows progress. Once that is in and the trench patched, the contractor will demobilize to another project in Town and Merriam Street will be ready for full depth reconstruction including the sidewalk reconstruction.”
I personally love the phrase “full depth reconstruction” which sounds to me like we shall be tunneling next. Oh wait, isn’t that what we’re doing now? In any case, editorial comment demands that I say that our DPW is pretty great at always answering my questions, which I’m sure they’ve come to adore. Remember, it’s always busy season at the DPW, so give them a break.
Oh and guess what? The full Merriam re-do will only be started (and presumably finished) in 2022–so hold onto that metal sign! I am so looking forward to the “moratorium” being applied to that street. For the time being, know that Merriam is only closed from just before bus pickup time in the morning (yes, kids are walking huge distances of like a quarter mile to get picked up) to sometime around say, 4. The detailed research is sadly missing, mostly because I am usually on a soccer field in the late afternoon. The closure is from the bridge of doom (Silver Hill) to Westland.
In any case, the bottom line is that Merriam may or may not be open, now or later, or maybe next spring, but you can always find a detour through another nice neighborhood like Silver Hill. Drive like your kids live there…