Dredging Old Drainage Ditches OK’d To Abate Broadmeadow Rd Flooding
by Connie Sartini,
Residents who use Broadmeadow Road, whether to get to the Public Library, the Rail Trail or Farmers Row, know that the flooding by James Brook presents challenges and causes closures to this roadway with some frequency.
Department of Public Works Director Tom Delaney explained to voters that Broadmeadow was composed of old farm ditches, similar to those at Mayfield Farm, that were dug to provide drainage from the Brook so that the land could be used for farming.
In an effort to provide better drainage and eliminate some of the road shut downs, Delaney recommended that routine maintenance and partial dredging of the James Brook channels at a cost of $50,000 would improve the situation.
Delaney pointed out that as it is, Broadmeadow Road is three feet below flood stage, and that if the road were to be rebuilt, it would need to be built at three feet above the flood stage, require a retaining wall, and “would cost millions of dollars.”
Broadmeadow Road resident David Smith noted the significant number of drivers that use the road, adding that in the winter
when parts of the road are frozen over, they must use the Library Road out onto Route 119 or go along the rail trail parking lot. “We need decent exits,” he said.
Voters agreed and passed the article providing $50,000 for dredging to make the road safer and to mitigate the frequent flooding and road closures.