The Highway Division, with nine (9) full-time employees, is constantly striving to achieve a high standard of services to the residents of Walpole. From street sweeping, patching of potholes and trenches, pavement markings, repairs to sidewalks, cleaning of catch basins and drains and snow & ice operations, the department is always functioning to capacity.
In addition to the awarding of a catch basin contract on a yearly basis for the cleaning of all catch basins and drains in town, Highway personnel also clean catch basins and drains especially during the fall season when leaves clog up drains and after the winter when excess sand clogs up drains.
Street sweeping begins in the spring after the danger of snow has passed and the weather starts to get mild. With only one (1) sweeper and operator, it usually takes until at least July before all the streets are swept. This is especially true when an accumulation of sand from severe snow & ice conditions produces an excess amount of sand on the roadways.
The patching of potholes and water trenches with Type I asphalt is done on an ongoing basis during mild and warm weather. When potholes and trenches open up during the winter months, temporary patching with cold patch is used until the hot mix is available in the spring.
Sidewalk repairs are performed by Highway personnel, i.e. replacement of broken sections. When Chapter 90 funding is available, new sidewalks are installed at various locations on the advice of the Sidewalk Committee.
The Highway Division has begun to replace existing street signs with the new blue signs. Each year, we will replace between thirty (30) to forty (40) signs. With replacement costs at a premium, this is all that our budget will allow per year. All of the signs on the main streets have been replaced and we are now working on all side streets. In addition, stop signs, replacement of signs due to vandalism, new posts, traffic control signs and school signs all fall under the jurisdiction of the Highway Division and are installed on an ongoing basis at the direction of the Safety Officer, Warren Goodwin.
The entire Department of Public Works, along with private contractors, plow approximately Four hundred sixty-five (465) roadways and forty-six (46) miles of sidewalks. Snowplowing services are extended to all roadways, whether or not they are accepted or private, within the town, as well as to all town-owned buildings and schools.