Town of Lexington, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 11-22-1982 by the Town Manager]
In accordance with the regulations of the Town Manager entitled "Street Excavations" adopted 11-22-1982, the Town Manager, upon due notice, may from time to time amend and/or revise rules, regulations and specifications for excavations or digging within the limits of the public ways of the Town of Lexington and may rule, regulate or specify particulars with respect to any excavation or digging as aforesaid.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DIRECTOR
The Director of Public Works of the Town of Lexington. He may from time to time delegate certain of these duties to designees who will act in the town's behalf.
PERMITTEE
Any person, firm, partnership, association, society, corporation, company or organization of any kind that is licensed to undertake street excavation in the Town of Lexington.
STREET
Any accepted street (public way) under the supervision of the Town of Lexington.
A. 
No person shall make any excavation in any public way without first obtaining a permit granted for each specific excavation from the Department of Public Works except as otherwise provided in these rules.
(1) 
The permit will be issued for a period not exceeding 60 days. It can, by permission, in writing, of the Director of Public Works, be extended for a second period of not more than 60 days.
(2) 
Permits must be kept at the job site during the progress of the excavation and must be shown, upon request, to any authorized Town personnel.
B. 
Fees.
(1) 
At the time of application a minimum charge of $40 must be paid to cover the cost of street opening and backfilling inspection service that will be carried out by the town. The service charge is in addition to the charges assessed for water for water service installation. All contractors must obtain a utility installer's license for any utility excavation for which there is an annual charge of $30. Utility companies may pay inspection charges as herein defined on a monthly basis.
[Amended effective 1-1-1998]
(2) 
The initial application charge of $40 will cover all excavation up to and including 50 linear feet of actual excavation (measurement shall be made and determined by the final measured length of the trench or street excavation pavement patch as measured to the nearest two feet). This charge for excavation after the initial 50 feet will be $0.30 per linear foot.
[Amended effective 1-1-1998]
(3) 
The applicant must pay the estimated fee at the time of his application (except as herein noted). Upon the completion of the final trench excavation resurfacing the Town will measure the actual length to the nearest two feet to determine the final inspection fee. If the permittee has excavated less than he originally estimated, the Town will rebate the excessive charges. If the permittee has excavated more than he originally estimated, he will pay to the Town the additional charges.
(a) 
Utility companies only may be billed upon the completion of the excavation.
(b) 
All payments are to be made to the "Town of Lexington"; attention: Public Works Department, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, Massachusetts 02173.
A. 
A satisfactory bond shall be provided of a surety company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the sum of $5,000, conditioned substantially on the applicant's guaranty of the faithful and satisfactory performance of the work in all respects and of replacement or restoration of that portion of any street, highway, way or road in which said applicant, his employees or agents shall make such excavation. Bonds from utility companies that are self-insured will be acceptable if the terms and the conditions are similar.
B. 
A policy of insurance shall be provided in which the Town of Lexington shall be named as an assured, issued by an insurance company authorized to issue such insurance in Massachusetts, including the following for such limits as are herein indicated:
(1) 
Bodily injury liability shall be for not less than $300,000 for injury or death of any one individual and not less than $500,000 injury or death in any one accident.
(2) 
Property damage liability shall be not less than $300,000 and shall include damage to property caused by explosives and blasting or by vehicles or equipment or on account of trenches or from any other cause. The Director of Public Works may in his sole discretion require increased limits of insurance for property damage.
C. 
Before an excavation permit, as herein provided, is issued, the applicant shall file with the Department of Public Works an insurance certificate acceptable to said Department of Public Works. Exemption to filing insurance endorsement may be made to self-insurers and state and federal government agencies.
D. 
The instrument must be written so as to allow the Town of Lexington to perform work deemed necessary by the Director to correct any deficiencies, and all costs incurred by the Town may be applied against the performance bond if they are not recovered after billing to the permittee. Public utility companies and state and federal agencies are exempt from this section.
The Director may at any time cancel or suspend permits and licenses for cause. Cancellation of the insurance endorsement automatically cancels the permit.
A. 
Work shall start as near to the starting date specified in the permit as possible. A twenty-four-hour notice of starting work to the Department of Public Works is sufficient except in critical areas. In critical areas, 48 hours' notice to the Department prior to starting work is required. (See Chapter 502 of the Acts of 1980, reprinted in Appendix A, for the required notice to utility companies.)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Critical areas are considered to be street intersections, arterial routes and streets within the Town shopping areas.
C. 
If, in the judgment of the Director, traffic conditions, the safety or inconvenience of the traveling public or the public interest requires that the excavation work be performed as emergency work, the Director shall have full power to order that a crew and adequate facilities be employed by the permittee to the end that such excavation work may be completed as soon as possible.
A. 
Nothing in these rules shall be construed to prevent the making of such excavations as may be necessary for preserving life or property or for locating trouble in conduit, cable or pipe or for making repairs, provided that the person making such excavation shall apply to the Director for such a permit on the first working day after such emergency work is commenced.
B. 
The person engaged in emergency action shall notify the Department of Public Works and the Police Department or the public utility companies, or both, at the start of the emergency work.
A. 
The permittee shall take appropriate measures to assure that during the performance of the excavation, so far as practicable, normal traffic conditions shall be maintained at all times so as to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the occupants of the abutting property and to the general public, provided that the Director may permit the closing of streets and walks to all traffic for a period of time prescribed by him if, in his opinion, it is necessary.
B. 
When the Director deems it necessary, the permittee shall engage one or more police officers to maintain traffic control and public safety of a project.
C. 
Warning signs shall be placed at sufficient distance from the construction operation to alert all traffic coming from both directions. Cones or other approved devices shall be placed to channel traffic, all in accordance with the requirements of the Director.
D. 
Warning signs, lights and such other precautions as may be necessary for the purpose, unless otherwise specified by the Director, shall conform to the latest requirements and practices of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works for their use in the performance of work upon streets and highways. All costs, including those of traffic warning signs, barriers, traffic controllers, police officers, etc., shall be fully borne by the permittee.
The excavation work shall be performed and conducted so as not to interfere with access to fire hydrants, fire stations, fire escapes, water gates, underground vaults, catch basins or any other vital public necessity as designated by the Director or his designee.
The permittee shall, where possible, maintain safe crossings for two-lane vehicle traffic at all public intersections as well as safe crossings for pedestrians at intervals of not more than 300 feet. If any excavation is made across a public way, it shall be made in sections to assure maximum safe crossing for vehicles and pedestrians. If the way is not wide enough to hold the excavated material for temporary storage, the material shall be immediately removed from the location.
A. 
The permittee shall not interfere with any existing utility without the written consent of the Director and the owner of the utility. If it becomes necessary to relocate an existing utility, this shall be done by its owner and the cost of such work borne by the permittee.
B. 
The permittee shall inform itself as to the existence and location of all underground utilities and protect the same against damage. The permittee shall adequately support and protect, by timbers, sheeting, etc., all pipes, conduits, poles, wires, cables or other appurtenances which may be in any way affected by the excavation work and do everything necessary to support, sustain and protect them under, over, along or across such work area. In the event any of said pipes, conduits, poles, wires, cables or appurtenances is damaged, and for this purpose pipe coatings or outer encasements or similar-type protective devices are to be considered as part of the pipe, conduit, pole, wire, cable or other appurtenance that they protect, such damage shall be repaired by the agency or persons owning them and the expense of such repairs borne by the permittee.
C. 
The permittee shall be responsible for any damage done to any public or private property by reason of the breaking of any water pipes, sewer, gas pipe, electric conduit or other such similar-type appurtenance.
A. 
The permittee shall, in accordance with the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts currently in effect, give notice to public utility companies before making excavation in a public way.
B. 
See Appendix A, Chapter 502 of the Acts of 1980, An Act Further Regulating Excavations in Public Ways.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A and Appendix B are included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
See Appendix B, Chapter 370 of the Acts of 1963, An Act Relative to Notices Required to be Given to Public Utility Companies Before Excavations are Made in Public Ways.
A. 
The permittee shall at all times and at his own expense preserve and protect from injury any adjoining property by providing proper foundations and by taking such other precautions as may be necessary for the purpose. The permittee shall, at his own expense, shore up and protect buildings (note: all protective work carried out or deemed necessary affecting buildings must be approved by the Building Commissioner), trees, walls, fences or other property likely to be damaged during the progress of the excavation work and shall be responsible for all damage to public or private property or highways resulting from its failure properly to protect and carry out said work. The permittee shall not remove, even temporarily, any trees or shrubs which exist in planting strip areas without first obtaining the consent of the Director of Public Works or or his designee (see MGL c. 87, § 5, Cutting trees).
B. 
The following policy will be adhered to if a tree is destroyed by the permittee or a tree is authorized for removal by the Director:
(1) 
All tree stumps and debris resulting from the work shall be removed from the location.
(2) 
A replacement shall be made by the permittee for each tree removed or destroyed with a minimum caliper of 2 1/2 inches or greater, the species and place of relocation to be designated by the Tree Warden, planted in place and it must be balled and burlapped.
(3) 
The permittee shall deliver to the Director of Public Works a bona fide order, placed with a recognized established nursery, before installing the authorized trees. The order shall include in it a statement that the size and species required will be in accordance with "USA Standard for Nursery Stock" and that planting will be done in accordance with the applicable provisions of Massachusetts Department of Public Works Standard Specifications.
(4) 
For roadside planting the following types of tree will be acceptable subject to approval by the Tree Warden as to which specific species is best for the location where the tree is to be planted: Norway Maple, Sugar Maple, Crimson King Maple, European Linden or approved equal.
(5) 
In certain areas of the Town ornamental trees, such as Flowering Crab, European Mountain Ash, Japanese Flowering Cherry, Moraine Ash and Washington Hawthorne, are acceptable as replacement trees. These trees are purchased by height and not by caliper and must be balled and burlapped. They must conform to the following minimum heights: five feet to six feet, Flowering Crabs and Flowering Cherries, and six feet to eight feet, Moraine Ash, European Mountain Ash and Washington Hawthorne.
(6) 
In areas under utility wires the tree replacement policy will be governed by the latest Boston Edison Company edition "Trees in Your Community," a copy of which is available in the Public Works Department.
A. 
It shall be the duty of every person cutting or making any excavation in a street, immediately following said excavation, to place and maintain such barriers and warning devices necessary for the public safety as may be required by the Director.
B. 
Barriers shall meet the requirements of the Director. Warning lights shall be flares, torches, lanterns, electric markers or flashers and shall be used to indicate the hazard to traffic from sunset of each day to sunrise the next day. Lanterns shall have clear, red or ruby globes. Electric markers or flashers shall emit light at sufficient intensity and frequency to be visible at a reasonable distance for safety. Reflectors or reflecting material may be used to supplement, but not replace, light sources. The type of warning lights to be used in any particular location is subject to the approval of the Director.
All material excavated from trenches or excavations shall be removed from the site of the work except when the material is suitable for, and permission has been granted by the Director or his designee to use it for, the backfill. All excess material is to be deposited at the town's designated disposal area or as otherwise directed.
The amount of space occupied by construction materials and equipment on the site shall be limited so as to not unduly hinder traffic and block the way.
As the excavation work progresses, all ways shall be thoroughly cleaned of all rubbish, excess earth, rock and other debris. The permittee shall take necessary precautions to prevent and avoid dust and to keep the ways clean each day. All cleanup operations shall be accomplished at the expense of the permittee and shall be carried out to the satisfaction of the Director or his designee.
A. 
The permittee shall maintain all gutters free and unobstructed for the full depth of the adjacent curb and for a width of at least three feet from the face of such curb at the gutter line.
B. 
Catch basins shall be kept clear and serviceable.
C. 
The permittee shall make provision for all surface water, muck, silt, residue or other runoff pumped or removed from excavations and shall be responsible for any damages resulting from his failure so to provide.
Each permittee shall conduct and carry out excavation work in such manner as to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and annoyance to the general public and occupants of neighboring property. During the hours from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., he shall not use, except with the express written permission of the Director or in case of an emergency as herein otherwise provided, any tool, appliance or equipment producing noise of sufficient volume to disturb the sleep or repose of occupants of the neighboring property.
The maximum length of open trench permissible at any time shall be in accordance with existing normal municipal standards or as may be specified by the Director or his designee. No greater length shall be open for pavement removal, excavation, construction, backfilling, patching or other operations without the written permission of the Director.
After an excavation is commenced, the permittee shall prosecute with diligence and expedition all excavation work covered by the excavation permit and shall promptly complete such work and restore the way to its original condition or as near as may be, so as not to obstruct the way or travel thereon more than is reasonably necessary.
A. 
The use of hydro-hammers or heavy-duty pavement breakers for breaking pavement is limited on all streets unless written permission is granted by the Director for such use after due consideration of the location, the condition of the street and the depth of saw cutting required prior to the use of the hammers.
B. 
Approved cutting of bituminous pavement surface before excavation is required to confine pavement damage to the limits of the trench.
C. 
Sections of bituminous or cement concrete sidewalks shall be removed to the nearest score line or approved saw cut edge.
D. 
Unstable pavement shall be removed over cave-outs and over breaks and the subgrade shall be treated as the main trench.
E. 
Pavement edges shall be trimmed to a vertical face and neatly aligned with the center line of the trench.
F. 
Cutouts outside of the trench lines must be normal or aligned parallel to the center line of the trench.
G. 
Generally excavations shall be made in open cut. Tunneling will be allowed by special permission of the Director. Trenches and excavations shall be braced and sheathed when necessary as required by OSHA specifications.
H. 
Before the permittee starts any excavations he must confer with the utility companies providing the Town with gas, electricity and telephone service and with the town's Highway Division, Water and Sewer Division and the Engineering Division to obtain all information from each as to depth of trench, location of all utilities and other conditions as to where and how the excavation shall be made. All safeguards, such as lanterns, barriers and signs, shall be maintained at all times by the permittee (licensed installer) while the work is in progress.
I. 
Street surface openings henceforth will be restricted for a period of at least five years after a new permanent surface is laid, except in cases of extreme emergency. Since modern bituminous concrete surface materials remain in excellent condition for many years beyond the aforesaid period and since such openings are the greatest single contributor to pavement deterioration, utility companies and contractors will be strictly limited in resorting to this method of excavating Town streets irrespective of surface age.
J. 
When a street excavation is made on streets resurfaced within the past five years or on an arterial route street as herein defined or shopping area street, as defined in § 181-18B of these regulations, the permittee must install a cement concrete patch or equivalent depth of bituminous base course if acceptable to the Director of Public Works. Utility companies placing utilities in a shallow trench (up to 3 1/2 feet) in depth and narrow trenches (up to two feet) in width may in certain instances be exempt from the cement concrete patch. Open excavations may not be allowed in which case jacking or other tunneling methods will be required.
A. 
The trench in the street must be filled and temporarily resurfaced in the same day it is opened unless otherwise directed by the Director or his designee. The trench shall be backfilled to within 13 1/2 inches of the top with approved excavated materials. Twelve inches of approved gravel shall be placed in the trench, and the remaining 1 1/2 inches shall be filled with temporary bituminous surface. Road surface shall be precut to avoid damaging surfaces surrounding the trench.
B. 
The backfilled material in the trench must be mechanically tamped in six-inch layers or, if the backfill material does not contain too much clay, it may instead be thoroughly puddled unless otherwise directed by the Public Works Department. If the temporary road surface is not placed the first day, then as soon as it is consistent with the permanency of the work or directed by the Public Works Department, the gravel subbase shall be excavated to the required grade in order to place temporary 1 1/2 inches of bituminous surface. The temporary pavement shall be placed and raked to a uniform surface and rolled to the required thickness and to a grade that will match the existing bituminous road surface.
C. 
The permittee shall maintain the temporary surfacing and shall promptly fill with similar material any depressions and holes that may occur so as to keep the surfacing in a safe and satisfactory condition for traffic.
D. 
Temporary resurfacing may be either so-called "cold patch" or plant-mixed hot asphalt aggregate, all as produced in accordance with the standard specifications of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, and is to be a minimum of 1 1/2 inches compacted thickness.
E. 
A minimum of three months after the temporary resurfacing, unless a shorter period is approved by the Director, the temporary subbase shall be excavated to the required grade in order to place bituminous concrete surface.
A. 
All permanent paving shall be done in accordance with the specifications of the Department of Public Works of the Town of Lexington by and at the expense of the permittee.
B. 
The permittee shall remove and acceptably dispose of all excavated material before proceeding with the remainder of the work and shall thoroughly compact the surface of the subbase. Any broken or irregular edges of existing pavements shall be cut away in straight lines as directed leaving a sound vertical face at least six inches back from the edge of the existing pavement.
C. 
The bituminous concrete base and top shall be laid and rolled in two courses. The binder (base course) shall be two inches in depth (note: base shall not be less than existing roadway base course and not less than two inches) and the top course shall be 1 1/2 inches in depth. The minimum total thickness of both courses, measured after rolling, shall be 3 1/2 inches. The base course of the permanent pavement shall be placed and carefully raked to a minimum surface and thoroughly rolled to the required thickness. Before placing the base course of the permanent pavement, the edge of the original bituminous surfacing shall receive an application of approved asphalt emulsion so that the new pavement material may be properly bonded to the old. The top course of the permanent paving shall be placed to a grade that will match the existing bituminous surface after rolling.
D. 
The permanent paving shall not overlap the existing pavement and will not have to be applied with a mechanical spreader unless otherwise directed.
E. 
The permittee shall furnish, place, grade and compact bituminous concrete pavement of Class I Type I-I as shown and specified in the latest Massachusetts State Department of Public Works Standard Specifications for Highways and Bridges.
F. 
Under certain circumstances where trenches are considered extensive it may be required, upon completion of patching trenches, to overlay the affected area for the full width of roadway and at least 30 feet beyond the affected area with one inch of dense graded bituminous concrete.
G. 
All lawn surfaces over the trench shall be replaced with sod or loam and reseeded to grade. All sidewalks dug through shall be carefully patched after backfilling.
(1) 
A bituminous concrete sidewalk shall be squared off and patched with the same material and rolled so as to provide a continuous smooth surface. Cement concrete sidewalks shall be repaired by making a new concrete block or blocks through which the trench passes. Preformed expansion joints, when deemed necessary, will be installed against buildings, walls, steps, foundations or existing concrete blocks. The new cement concrete square shall be made of air-entrained Class A (3,500 lbs.) mix or better and be matched in color with the remaining sidewalk as nearly as possible. All concrete must be cured by covering with material in accordance with the best known concrete curing procedures. All walks shall be laid over a minimum of 12 inches of well-compacted gravel. Cement concrete shall be treated with silicone or linseed oil sealer for salt damage prevention.
(2) 
The permittee shall be responsible for repairing any damage to public utilities (water, sewer, gas, electric, telephone, etc.) or to Town trees, shrubs, poles or signs which may be disturbed or damaged during the course of the work or on account thereof. The permittee shall be responsible for the maintenance of the street opening excavation trench for one year after the date of completing the installation except where such maintenance is made necessary by the act or neglect of another.
(3) 
Exceptions to the permanent paving requirement of the Department of Public Works of the Town of Lexington may be made only for state or federal government agencies or to public utility companies for narrow or shallow trenches as defined in § 181-34J.
A. 
All restoration of cement patch paving areas shall be done at the expense of the permittee and must meet the specification of the Department of Public Works.
B. 
In instances when open cut is permitted, provisions for patching will require, wherever practical, that a six-inch reinforced or precast concrete slab be laid over the backfilled trench extending one foot beyond either side of the edge of surface and allowing for a three-inch bituminous concrete Type I-I surface, all as shown of the detail sheet page E-1 entitled "Typical Street Replacement Detail for Cement Concrete Patch."
C. 
When approved, the concrete slab may be cast in place conforming to Massachusetts standard specifications for Class F cement concrete and, additionally, shall be high-early strength. The slab shall have steel reinforcing for tensile strength placed in accordance with good engineering practices. The permittee must place temporary heavy-duty steel plating adequate to carry heavy traffic over the trench area until the concrete is sufficiently cured.
D. 
Consideration may under certain limited conditions be given to the elimination of the concrete patch, allowing underground utility installations to be made where the permittee agrees to replace foundation and base material in kind and to maintain satisfactorily a permanent (plant-mixed hot asphalt) bituminous concrete Type I-I patch for a period of one year except at which time the original permanent patch with approved material. In this case a specific bond may be required to insure the continued maintenance of the permanent (temporary) patch and the construction of the permanent patch at the end of the one-year period.
All permanent pavement markings (crosswalks, traffic center lines, etc.) that are obliterated or damaged during construction shall be repainted by or under the direction of the Department of Public Works of the Town of Lexington at the expense of the permittee.