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Somerville, NStar in talks over unfinished paving work

Posted by Matt Byrne  December 28, 2011 10:04 AM

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Somerville public works officials and representatives from NStar are in talks to smooth over a spat over unfinished paving work in the city, a Somerville spokesman said.

The discussion comes after the city banned NStar from performing non-emergency work in Somerville, citing complaints from the bicycle community and dangerous conditions for motorists on a stretch of Beacon Street.

The dangerous ruts in the roadway have persisted for months, said city spokesman Tom Champion. It is among more than 100 repair projects that require attention, he said.

"Withholding permits on new work is ultimately the only leverage we have on NSTAR and other large utilities in terms of enforcing the quality of repairs that are made in excavations," he said.

Emergency repair work and other essential projects will go on unaffected, he said.

Champion said the the conditions on Beacon Street are the most egregious and have persisted despite what he described as faulty attempts by the company to fix the road surface.

In a statement, NStar said it would work with officials soon.

"We are committed to resolving any outstanding issues with the City of Somerville as soon as possible so we can resume the other work we need to do to serve our Somerville customers," an NStar spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

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