Rice Road Closed Due To EverSource

In a discussion with the Department of Public Works, they confirmed at this point, being the middle of November, that Rice Road between Aldrich Avenue and Providence Street (Route 122A) will remain closed at least until spring of 2022 due to EverSource Energy’s failure to complete the new natural gas connection under the Providence & Worcester Railroad. To be clear, this is not the fault of the Millbury Department of Public Works, but rather EverSource Energy for apparently dropping the ball on this project.

According to neighbors, EverSource Energy or its subcontractors have not worked on this project for several months now. An agreed upon plan was in place to dig down 17 feet to get below some boulders that they encountered on their initial attempt(s) and bore through under the railroad tracks, but EverSource Energy has not executed upon these plans.

This continued and prolonged closure presents an inconvenience to all residents of Rice Road, Thomas Hill Road, Aldrich Avenue, and Captain Peter Simpson Road at a minimum, and could cause delays in providing emergency services to the 43 households should such services be required during the extended closure of Rice Road. In the event of a storm bringing down limbs, trees, or wires the residents could be cutoff from getting to or leaving their homes for an extended period of time until the issue is resolved.

The Millbury Department of Public Works team has been and continues to do everything that they can to on get Rice Road reopened. The dependency is on EverSource Energy to complete their work. Also, asphalt plants are closed for the season and will reopen in the spring of 2022.

Due to the Rice Road road closure, this has also delayed the repaving project for Rice Road, Thomas Hill Road, Aldrich Avenue and Captain Peter Simpson Road.

November 23, 2021 Update: In a follow-up conservation with one of the DPW crew, it was conveyed that the town has a year-round source for asphalt unlike typical residential and commercial contractors that close down for the winter months. If EverSource Energy completes the required work then the town should be able to close up the road surface with asphalt pavement, so it can be reopened to the public.