Between last summer and fall, the Wakefield DPW, Langley Shores Association, Hawk Road Association, Eagle Road Association, and Abbott Road Association installed numerous fixes on their roads to improve the flow of runoff and keep it away from the lakes.
Since the snow has almost disappeared and the weather was gorgeous yesterday, I decided to take a little ride around and see how some of the road fixes fared this winter.
Our journey started on Brackett Road where the Town of Wakefield, Wakefield DPW, UNH Stormwater Center, and AWWA partnered last year to install several fixes to chronic problem spots. These locations were chosen as part of the Road Management Plan that identified areas of the road that were washing out during rain storms and flushing large volumes of sediment into Lovell Lake.
Right away I realized that there was more snow out there than I thought (hoped for)! However, I still managed to get a good feel to how the projects were holding up. The above picture is of a snow-filled detention basin that will catch lots of road runoff and prevent it from running down this homeowners driveway and into the lake. The picture below is of the 300′ ditch that runs on the other side of the road to a catch basin that will settle sediment and allow cleaner water flow into the detention basin.
The only potential issue I could see was that these ditches were loaded with sediment. This is one of those things that will have to be monitored and potentially dealt with to maintain the effectiveness of the ditch.
Next I traveled to near where Pond Road starts. This detention pond, although still full of snow is functioning well. The road was graded to another long rock ditch on the other side of the road and goes into a deep sump catch basin that will settle sediment and drain the remaining water to this basin. The road was in good shape considering the time of year as well. This indicates that runoff is moving off the road and preventing heaving and mud.
All in all, despite still being snow covered in the beginning of April, the projects on Brackett Road have held up well and look to be quite efficient at preventing polluted runoff from entering Lovell Lake. And why wouldn’t you want to protect this:
I left Brackett Road and headed toward Hawk Road on Wilson Lake to inspect some projects done there in the early summer last year. The first fix I inspected was actually an AWWA YCC project in 2011. We built a rain garden and a detention basin to try an alleviate the excess water and treat runoff before it moved toward Wilson Lake. Our fix worked pretty well, but the Hawk Road Association came in last summer and expanded the detention basin with some equipment and paved the road. This solution fixed the problem entirely.
Normally at this time of the year, this spot would have had a huge ice patch across the road that had been nicknamed “the glacier” due to its size. With the fixes that took place, “the glacier” is gone and so is standing water in the road.
The next stop on Hawk Road was at their boat launch. This was a big project last year that required replacing some culverts and enlarging the catch area for the road runoff. This site also looks great and is performing well. The YCC hopes to get in there this year and install a rain garden to the side where some runoff bypasses the catchment and flows into the stream.
After checking out the Hawk Road fixes, I ventured over to Eagle Road to see what had been done over there. The road itself was pretty horrendous, but the fix seemed to be channeling the water well from the upper section of the road. There is some more work to be done on Eagle Road in the coming years to prevent polluted runoff from entering the lake and keeping the road in better condition.
I skipped Langley Shores Drive because the work done over there has been inspected pretty readily for almost a year and doing quite well. I will check it out this summer when the YCC is over that way.
The first year of AWWA’s partnering with towns, local organizations, and road associations has been a great success and we look forward to the coming year of road fixes and erosion prevention!
Wilson Lake from the Hawk Road Launch