Past Projects

Clement St Bridge Resurfacing - Summer 2019

  • The thin polymer overlay on the concrete filled, steel grid deck of the Clement Street Bridge had reached the end of its useful life, with numerous bare patches exposing the main deck.
  • For the surface rehabilitation, the existing polymer overlay was scraped off, exposing the steel and concrete, which were in very good condition. Minor patching of the concrete infill, mostly at the approaches, was completed using a specialized concrete mix.
  • After patching, the deck was sand blasted to remove scale on the exposed steel grid to prepare a good bonding surface for the new overlay.
  • The new overlay consists of a primer coat to seal the concrete and steel, a multi-part, epoxy top coat that includes a fine aggregate, and a final top coat to seal and further bind the aggregate.
  • Thirty feet of each approach was repaved to provide a smooth transition to the bridge deck, and catch basin grates were upgraded on the uphill side of the bridge to improve drainage.
Image of Clement Street BridgeBefore (deteriorated deck surface)Image of Clement Street BridgeDuring constructionImage of Clement Street BridgeDuring constructionImage of Clement Street BridgeAfter (completed deck resurfacing)

Culvert Evaluation Project - 2018/2019

  • The professional licensing organization, National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), recognized a group of Smith College students with a $10,000 award for their work on a year-long project with the DPW Engineering Division. The project was to develop a standardized method for evaluating and prioritizing culverts for replacement within the City of Northampton. Stream crossing upgrades and replacements have become an increasingly important issue for municipalities in recent years as climate change is causing more intense precipitation events and the importance of maintaining aquatic connectivity in streams is more widely recognized. Prior to the student’s project, a comprehensive evaluation protocol that incorporated both engineering and ecological considerations had not been developed.
  • The Smith College Design Clinic is a two-semester program for senior engineering students to work with businesses and organizations from all over the country including Honda, Facebook, Pelican, and of course the Northampton DPW. The DPW has been participating in the Design Clinic since 2003 to solve complex engineering problems for the mutual benefit of the students and the City.

image of smith college awardSmith College Design Clinic team, from left to right: Kris Baker (Northampton DPW), Susannah Howe (Smith College), Andrew Guswa (Smith College), Maia Tooley (Smith College), Tyler Feeney (Smith College), and Erin Joyce (NCEES). Missing from photo: Molly Day (Smith College)

Organic Weed and Pest Control - Summer 2019

  • The Department of Public Works is committed to using only organic means to control weeds and pests in all City parks.

image of nematode sprayingForestry, Parks and Cemeteries Division spraying nematodes for organic grub control.

Park Hill Road - Spring 2019

  • Public Works was awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration for the design of a replacement culvert on Park Hill Road. The existing 21-inch culvert was undersized, perched, and in disrepair.  Public Works has had routine maintenance issues with the culvert, including filling of scour holes and structural repairs to the wingwalls caused by high water and the poor condition of the walls. The culvert is located on a tributary to a Cold Water Fishery Resource and was on the state's list of priority culverts for replacement.
  • The culvert design involved the replacement of the undersized culvert with a three-sided concrete box culvert that is 8.5 feet wide and has a naturalized channel bottom for aquatic species and a terrestrial bench to allow for a wide range of species to move freely between downstream and upstream habitats. The width of the culvert allows flood flows to pass without jeopardizing the roadway.
Image of Park Hill Road Culvert Upstream, Before ConstructionBefore (upstream)Before/ DownstreamBefore (downstream)During ConstructionDuring constructionAfter DownstreamAfter (downstream)
  • During the first day of construction, several species were collected from the downstream scour pool, from which they could not migrate further upstream due to the perched culvert condition. These species included creek chub, blacknose dace, salamander, crayfish, and green frog. Species such as these can now move freely upstream through the newly installed culvert.
Image of Crayfish found at Park Hill Road CulvertCrayfishImage of Blacknose dace found at Park Hill Road CulvertBlacknose daceImage of Creek chub found at Park Hill Road CulvertCreek chub