Route 40 Closed During Rush Hour To Repair Water Main Laid in 1897
Last Thursday, Route 40 - also called Lowell road - was closed to traffic for about eight hours starting at noon until about 8 p.m. while staff of the Groton Water Company repaired an interconnection between the water main and the home at #35, while hampered by cold weather and blowing snow. Groton Water company employees were assisted by local private contractor Robert Black with additional help from the Groton DPW.
Traffic had to be routed around the repair site because the water main is buried under the middle of the road there, a common practice in 1897 when the trench would have been dug by hand and before the advent of the automobile and paved roads. Nowadays, new water mains are installed at the side of the road to avoid such disruptions.
Although none of the nearby buildings, including Petapawag Place housing complex, First Parish Church and Gibbet Hill Grill were never completely without water service, fire protection for these structures was compromised during the repair.
Water Department Superintendent Tom Orcutt explained that such service breaks happen about once a year and are more likely to occur during the winter months. Weather permitting the road will be re-paved in the next week.