Highway department

  • Highway department
  • "Getting around Wakefield is a relatively easy task for approximately 25,000 vehicles in town. Passable roads and highways in harsh weather have become commonplace, often taken for granted. Wakefield residents at the turn of the century were not as lucky as the 24,149 residents today. The method of transportation in the early 1900s was the horse and buggy which was forced to travel on unplowed roadways in the winter and muddy roads during the spring thaw. If left unattended, the roads were deeply rutted, often causing carriage wheels to break and horses to stumble. The Wakefield Highway Department in the early 1900s used a coal-fired steam roller on watered-down roads to smooth the roads for easier travel. When the first automobile arrived in Wakefield the care of the roads became a top priority. Wakefield was fortunate to have paved roads by 1911. Today the Department of Public Works Highway Department is responsible for the 96 miles of roadway in Wakefield. A fleet of 32 trucks tend to the roads in all seasons, plowing, sanding and salting in the cold months and updating, paving and repairing during the warm months. During a typical Wakefield winter, 2000-3000 tons of sand and salt are used to tend the roadway." -- Text from calendar.;Caption: In this photograph taken in the mid-1930s, members of the Wakefield Water Department thaw a drain on the corner of Main Street and Richardson Avenue. The department is now a division within the Wakefield Department of Public Works.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 1987
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Highway department,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed December 3, 2021, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/noble/items/show/6978.


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