Road plan nearing completion

LYNDEBOROUGH – An engineering plan for the rebuilding of Glass Factory Road, under discussion for several years, is nearing completion. Kevin Leonard of North Point Engineering of Concord, met with the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, April 17, to discuss recent surveys done on the road.

They did four test pits, Leonard said, encountered “glass slag” from the former glass factory along the area where the factory was located between 1868 and 1888, as well as wet areas and several large pine trees which may have to be removed.

Glass Factory Road is lightly used, maybe 20 cars a day, narrow and is in mostly poor condition. The work will extend from the junction with Route 31 to the railroad trestle. Work on the trestle and the junction with Putnam Hill Road will be deferred until details can be worked out with the state concerning the trestle.

Leonard said the width of the road needs to be determined as it varies along its length. The Route 31 intersection, which will involve straightening to improve sight distance as well as lowering the grade for a safer intersection, will be 22 feet, tapering to 18 feet. Two culverts will have to be replaced and the Glass Factory historic marker moved.

Leonard will meet with the state Department of Transportation with Road Agent Rick McQuade and Selectman Mark Chamberlain in a few weeks to discuss the intersection. A final plan with costs will be complete by fall so it can go to town meeting.

In other business, the board awarded a contract to Advanced Paving for work on Locust Lane and Putnam Hill Road, with Bullard Lane to be added if possible.

The Highway Department will purchase a backhoe from Caterpillar which has several additional features McQuade said would be helpful. The purchase was approved at town meeting.

Town Administrator Russ Boland said American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have to obligated by December. The town was awarded $181,300. Of that, $56.000 will be used for the Glass Factory Road engineering and $26,300 for upgrading the town office software, and $100,000 has been designated for broadband service in North Lyndeborough. That use should be offset by a grant for which, Boland said, “we have verbal assurance.”

The board decided to reactivate the Monuments Committee to determine the town’s recognition of the 250th anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War in 2026. The original committee was disbanded after the World War I and World War II/Korea monuments were moved from the library to the common. The town does not have a memorial or monument for those 100-plus men who served.

Roadside cleanup began April 20, with April 27 the day to work along Route 31. Equipment and information can be found at the library.

The next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 1, 6 p.m. in the town office.