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Soggy soccer field at Newton North will get fix

Posted by Derek McLean  July 13, 2011 12:20 PM

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Contractors will take steps next week to fix drainage issues that have affected the new soccer field at Newton North High School, officials told neighbors Tuesday night.

A nearby resident had expressed fears that overly compacted subsoil or insufficient loam was causing the turf on the Walnut Street soccer field to degrade rapidly.

The project manager said there were drainage issues, but not to the extent the resident feared. Mark Burton, owners project manager for Turner Construction, said that Dimeo Construction will fix the issue next week.

After the drainage issues are resolved, the soccer field will be completed. The only remaining athletic field yet to be completed is the baseball field, which is expected to be finished by mid-November. Construction of the parking lot will begin in August.

Burton said there is a drainage system currently installed beneath the soccer field. There is one area, outside the field of play, at the southeast corner of the turf which has shown to be poorly draining. This area in particular does not currently have any drainage systems in place.

“It was outside the field of play, which is the reason we didn’t have any drainage legs there in the first place,” he told last night’s meeting of the Newton North Neighborhood Liaison Committee.


Burton said that Dimeo will add additional underground piping in the impacted area, which should fix the problem.

Burton said the under drainage system collided with the Laundry Brook culvert, which is a large underground pipe that was installed in 1908. Burton said there was a conflict of elevation between the under drain system and the preexisting culvert.

Dimeo Construction will put in a new system next week, which will cost around $10,000.

This is the second attempt to fix the problem. The problem first occurred last fall, when the field became soggy.

Dimeo Construction first attempted to fix the problem by aerating the area under the recommendation of Judith Nitsch, design engineer for Judith Nitsch Engineering.

Nitsch tested the area’s sod and the subgrade below for drainage factors. “It was their opinion at the time, that it makes sense to aerate the field, to allow the water to go through the sod and filter in the ground to see if it would naturally percolate,” said Burton.

After aerating the field, Dimeo also spread sand on top with the idea that the sand would go in the holes and keep the holes from closing up. “The consensus at the time was, let’s see how this works,” said Burton.

As the problem still appears to be an issue, Dimeo will add a new section of an under drainage system to fix the problem area. “It is going to be fairly inexpensive. It is just a couple of runs with PVC pipe,” he said. “We are not adding any new underground structures. We are going to tie into what is already here.”

The problem should be resolved within the next two weeks.

Derek McLean can be reached at dbmclean1@gmail.com.


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