Stories from the Department of Public Works
Mike Herbst Qualified MA Tree Warden - Stories from the Department of Public Works
Mike Herbst, Special Equipment Operator - Highway Division, completed the Massachusetts Qualified Tree Warden training course in November 2023.
This is a 6 class module that started in September and covers a wide variety of topics including roles and responsibilities of the tree warden, tree risk management, tree planting and identification, but most importantly Ch 87 of the Ma General Laws governing shade trees.
Mike is one of 52 individuals that completed the 2023 classes to gain this certification. With this achievement Mike joins Nick Repekta, Highway Division Manager, and Kevin Esposito, Parks and Cemetery Maintenance Division Manager, to hold this certification for the Town of Shrewsbury.
2023 Snow Roadeo - Stories from the Department of Public Works
The Snow Roadeo takes place every year both state and nation wide, with several competitions related to snow plow safety and technical skills. Professionals from across the state and country go to compete every year to showcase their skills when it comes to keeping our communities safe during snow and ice events.
This year, Nick Repekta, Highway Division Manager, and Jim Fleming, Highway Division Supervisor, came in 1st place for the single axle truck competition and 2nd for the wheel loader for the Massachusetts competition and then were chosen to represent the state at the national competition held in Colorado by the American Public Works Association. Each event includes a diagnostic vehicle inspection, and a timed obstacle course.
Nick, Jim, and the Massachusetts Highway Association Team placed 3rd nationally out of 23 teams in the overall team competition! There were 395 groups from across the country We are so proud that Nick and Jim were able to attend and represent the Town of Shrewsbury at the national level because of their exceptional safety and technical skills when it comes to keeping our streets and sidewalks safe during snow and ice events throughout the winter season!
Truck 11 Catch Basin Cleaner - Stories from the Department of Public Works
The Highway Division rolled out the newest addition to the Town fleet - Truck 11 Catch Basin Cleaner. This piece of equipment is used to clean catch basins in Town, both removal of the grate and materials that collect in the catch basins themselves.
The last piece of equipment the Town had that could perform these functions was from 1995 and was taken out of service in the Fall of 2022 due to a rotted frame, which could not pass inspection.
The Town was able to purchase this vehicle through the Stormwater Enterprise Fund and with the help of this vehicle the Town will be able to continue to preserve and maintain our stormwater infrastructure and system.
To learn more about stormwater in Shrewsbury, please visit the Town website at https://shrewsburyma.gov/803/Stormwater-Management
Toblin Hill Bridge - Stories from the Department of Public Works
The reconstruction of the Toblin Hill Bridge was a long time coming for both the neighborhood residents, town staff, and the community at large. The collaboration between the neighborhood and town staff shows our DPW at its best, but not without some obstacles along the way.
The Toblin Hill Bridge was constructed as part of the Toblin Hill Estates Subdivision in 1998 by a private developer. A recurring sink hole began appearing in 2015 and after another evaluation in 2016 by MassDOT, part of the bridge was determined to be in a state of failure and was closed to all traffic.
In 2018, the bridge was demolished and soon after in 2019 design options were reviewed for the replacement, with an estimated cost to replace the bridge being over $1 million. Funding became available in 2021, and the design and construction of the bridge was awarded in the Spring of 2022.
Construction was finally able to begin at the start of 2023, after some delays, and the bridge was completed in the Fall of 2023. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in the near future, stay tuned!