The Engineering Department facilitates the improvement and modernization of the City’s infrastructure including roadways, sidewalks, water distribution, sewer and stormwater management systems by engineering safe, multimodal, functional, and sustainable infrastructure maintenance and capital investment projects. The Department manages the street opening and trench permit programs, reviews private development site plans to ensure compliance with City standards and sound engineering practices, administers the city’s pavement management program, and acts as the City’s liaison to state and federal agencies such as the MBTA, MassDOT, EPA, MassDEP, and the MWRA on engineering issues.
Personal Services Changes
Personal Services is projected up 49% for FY22.
Changes in salaries are due to negotiated collective bargaining agreements and merit increases based on annual performance reviews.
The proposed budget includes a new non-union position, Deputy Director of Engineering Projects, which will be responsible for managing the Engineering Projects Group responsible for the planning, design, and construction of improvements to the City’s infrastructure.
The proposed budget includes a new non-union position, Senior Project Manager – Streetscapes, which will be responsible for overseeing the planning, design, and construction of municipal utility improvement projects including roadway, sidewalk, water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.
The Deputy Director of Engineering Services position (formerly named Assistant Director of Engineering) had its grade reclassified for FY22.
Ordinary Maintenance Changes
Ordinary Maintenance costs are projected up 4% for FY22.
An increase to the Repairs & Maintenance – Highways line is due to increased need and inflation adjustments for pavement markings necessary to ensure vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian safety.
Capital Outlay Changes
Capital Outlay budget is projected up 2% for FY22.
An increase to the Engineering/Architectural Services line is due to greater need and inflation adjustments for engineering and design services required for necessary roadway and infrastructure improvements.
FY22 Goals & Measures of Progress
GOAL 1: Expand the City’s paving program into a more comprehensive street and sidewalk reconstruction program in collaboration with the OSPCD Mobility division to improve accessibility and safety for all users and advance Vision Zero, Climate Forward, and SomerVision goals.
- Achieve substantial completion of the reconstruction of College Avenue (Davis Square to Powderhouse Square), and break ground on the reconstruction of Holland Street (Simpson Avenue to Claremon Street). Both include new bus stops, bicycle lanes, and safer pedestrian street crossings.
- Complete design and break ground for the Pearl Street reconstruction project & 6 prioritized intersection pedestrian safety improvements. This project will also include additional accessibility, pavement and mobility improvements throughout the City.
- Complete design for the West Washington Street & Tufts Street reconstruction project. This project will also include additional accessibility, pavement and mobility improvements throughout the City.
GOAL 2: Improve Union Square infrastructure to reduce the risk associated with aging infrastructure, solve existing system deficiencies, achieve regulatory compliance, create I/I offsets and increase system capacity to accommodate planned commercial and housing development, improve stormwater management consistent with SomerVision and Climate Forward goals, and create a multi-modal transportation network in line with our Vision Zero goals.
- Achieve substantial completion of construction of the Somerville Avenue Utility & Streetscape Improvements Project (SAUSI), including beneficial use of new water, sewer and drainage infrastructure, bike lanes, protected bicycle lanes, and enhanced streetscape features.
- Complete the design for Phase 1 of the Spring Hill Sewer Separation Project, which has expanded to provide renewed water mains consistent with the Division’s recently completed Water System Improvement Plan, and enhanced streetscapes in targeted corridors.
- Complete the design for the Poplar Street Stormwater Pump Station Project, which fundamentally changes the way in which the city manages the drainage system for 60-percent of Somerville by creating the new opportunity to discharge stormwater to the MBTA drainage system, and which is now fully integrated with the ArtFarm project providing critical open space and art community performance support.
GOAL 3: Advance several strategic projects to plan and implement long-term improvements to our infrastructure systems and assure regulatory compliance required to avoid enforcement actions.
- For four of the major sewer subsystems, complete the technical definition and evaluation of long-term solutions to reduce flooding, mitigate CSOs, and improve water quality, and initiate the community outreach to prioritize those capital improvement projects.
- Complete the investigations and remedial work required to comply with our Administrative Order for the MS4 permit issued by EPA.
- Rehabilitate 1 mile of water main with a combination of cleaning/lining and full replacement and 1.5 miles of sewer with cured-in-place lining and spot repairs, aided by completing CCTV inspections of 40 miles of City sewer lines. To provide useable inspections, many lines will include substantial cleaning, which provides the additional benefit to marginally increase system capacity.
- Replace 60 lead water service connections.
GOAL 4: Review, issue, and enforce construction permits on the public right of way and for site construction in a timely manner to maintain the safety of the public way, protect of the City's infrastructure and environmental resources, and coordinate between the numerous construction projects.
- Distribute three guidance documents to supplement our published rules and regulations to aid project proponents and home owners meet the City’s engineering requirements with less confusion and redesign.
- Coordinate with SOIA to translate existing and new guidance documents to provide more equitable enforcement of the City’s engineering requirements.