Engineer Bill Madden of G.A.F. Engineering came before the Rochester Conservation Commission on October 16 to engage in an informal discussion regarding the design and construction needed to repair the Leonard’s Pond Bridge on Mary’s Pond Road.
An accident left a portion of the bridge damaged, now Madden wanted to ensure his design and aspects of the construction are in line with the commission’s oversight.
Madden explained that construction would be required along 75 feet of the bridge’s curbing. He detailed methods that the contractor would use, describing the use of tools for notching and exposing substructures inside the concrete base. He also said that the exterior of the bridge would require a fresh coat of a stucco-like material to cover the repairs.
Regarding issues related to wetlands protection, Madden also described the use of silt socks to catch any falling debris.
Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon expressed her concern about the possibility of the mortar material falling into the water saying, “We are having this meeting to discuss best construction practices.”
Madden agreed, adding, “We’re doing as much as we can to keep it together.”
They also concurred there may be the need for G.A.F.’s presence during part of the repair work to ensure adherence to conditions required by the commission.
The commission was satisfied with the direction of the repair project, and Madden said he would be filing a Notice of Intent on Friday.
In other discussions, the commission is planning to meet with Joe Perry, forester for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Farinon said she has invited Perry to attend the November 20 meeting to answer questions regarding the changes to the Forest Cutting Practices Act and a Forestry Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the DCR.
Farinon also shared a drafted policy, Guidance on Agriculture and Solar Energy Under the Wetlands Protection Act, and SMART program she received from the DEP. She said it would impact the installation of solar panels in cranberry bogs. Farinon said that the DEP is “opening the door to the idea of cranberry bogs” as viable locations for solar panels. She said that the solar panel structural supports are higher than those used in other locations, allowing sunlight through to vines and possibly berries. She thought that the cranberry growers associations would need more outreach.
Earlier in the evening, the commission voted to allow the continuance of an Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation filed by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., for property located at 75 Vaughan Hill Road until the November 20 meeting, as well as a continuance to that same date for a Notice of Intent filed by Joseph Longo, CorGo LLC, for the construction of a single-family house on Mendell Road.
The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 pm in the town hall meeting room.
Rochester Conservation Commission
By Marilou Newell