By the end of summer, Slough Road’s slough—“a depression or hollow, usually filled with deep mud or mire”—will no longer be responsible for its residents’ slough— “a mental state of deep sadness and no hope.” Thanks to a $1 million grant from MassWorks, an infrastructure grant program run by the state, a new drainage system will be installed in the low spot of Slough Road between Bolton Road and Mass. Ave. to prevent water, mud, and ice from collecting there. That section of the road will also be repaved.
The work will begin Monday, April 12, and continue through the summer.
The first part of the project will consist of constructing the drainage system, including replacement of the existing culvert. Slough Road will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays during this time, which is expected to last about a month, according to Department of Public Works Director Tim Kilhart. While the road is closed, a detour will be set up between Bolton Road and Mass. Ave., and residents will be given instructions to get to and from their homes.
When the drainage project is finished, the road will be repaved, including all driveway aprons. The entire project is scheduled for completion by Sept. 30. The work will be done by P. J. Albert, Inc. of Fitchburg, which submitted a bid for $720,000, the lowest of the 16 bids received. Albert is the town’s current paving contractor and is the company that did last year’s project in the center of town. Kilhart said he has confidence in the bid since it was only $8,400 less than the second highest bid, and he added that he is happy to work with P.J. Albert again.
Since the project will cost $280,000 less than the MassWorks grant, Kilhart has received permission from the state to use remaining grant funds for paving any other roads contiguous to Slough Road. First on his list is the section of Slough Road between Mass. Ave. and Woodchuck Hill Road, followed by portions of Woodchuck Hill Road and Oak Hill Road, as funding allows.