WORCESTER – The War Memorial at Billings Square has still not been repaired and a Worcester City Councilor wants to know why.
District 3 City Councilor George Russell has filed an order at tonight’s city council meeting to ask that City Manager Edward M. Augustus provide a report on the timeline to replacing the monument that was leveled a couple months ago.
On the evening of June 5. the memorial was leveled when a woman driving a Jeep crashed into the structure, knocking it down, and breaking it into several large pieces. At the time, Russell called for swift response in repairing the monument and now is questioning what is taking so long.
“[Worcester Department of Public Works] did a good job of picking it up right away and assessing the damage,” Russell said in an email on Friday, Sept. 15. “Even though when this happened early this summer, I asked on the Council floor for a speedy return, no timeline has been offered to me yet.”
The monument sits on the rotary at the intersection of Grafton, Hamilton and Orient Streets and is part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation [MassDOT] restructuring, but according to Russell, the project is still in its design stage and has been delayed.
“There is a state plan to rebuild Route 122 [Grafton St.], including the rotary. This plan has already been delayed. We should not be waiting for the state rebuild to repair the monument,” Russell said.
“The Veterans deserve this to be a priority for all of us,” Russell added.
MassDOT’s plan for Grafton St. calls for resurfacing with minor areas of reconstruction and intersection improvements from Washington Square to Rice Square — a total of 1.4 miles. The work is scheduled to begin at the end of 2018 and will cost more than $7 million in federal and state funding.
Speed Limit Redux
It’s possible the speed limit being reduced to 25 miles per hour throughout the city may come up again as District 5 City Councilor Gary Rosen has filed a couple of orders regarding speed enforcement in his district.
At the July 18 City Council meeting Rosen filed similar orders and it sparked a broader discussion on lowering the citywide speed limit. The discussion was spearheaded by Councilor-at-large Kate Toomey, who is also the chairperson of the council’s Public Safety Committee
Tonight’s meeting will start at 7:00 PM and will be held in the Esther Howland Chamber in Worcester’s City Hall.