Drive west on the Mass Pike and you might notice a man sitting under a beach umbrella in Weston.
Rich Declared his Curiosity asking, “Is this one guy working on the aqueduct? This morning he was just sitting there on a camping chair.”
His name is James Hudson and he’s a safety spotter, working for the contractor that is repairing the 60-year-old MWRA Hultman Aqueduct.
From his perch above a man hole, Hudson must keep an eye on who’s working below, and stay in constant radio contact with the workers to make sure they’re safe. Hudson says, “This is a confined space and in case something happens, if they get closed in or a buggy turnover or anything, it’s very important we know where they’re located.”
Hudson is one of 10 safety spotters that OSHA requires the contractor Barletta, hired to keep track of the 35 workers who are patching the aqueduct. His supervisor, Dennis Ferriera of Barletta, says if they weren’t there and something went wrong, a worker could die. He says, “They count the people as they go by and as they exit, and they communicate with their entry supervisor to know when they can clear the area.”
Hudson and his fellow spotters must work in the sun, snow, sleet and rain, and will be at different locations until the aqueduct is completely repaired.
The MWRA is spending $9.5 million to repair the 13 mile long Hultman Aqueduct, so their customers will have a back up water supply. Once it’s open, it will prevent millions from losing their water supply in case there is another breach like the one in May.
The Hultman Aqueduct repairs are expected to be completed by 2013.
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