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MWRA meeting slated to explain Rt. 1 project

SAUGUS – The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, March 31 at Town Hall to explain the impact of a massive Route 1 project set to begin in April.MWRA spokesman Ria Convery said work will being in April and involves digging a trench for a new water main, installing the pipes and resurfacing the road.The state agency has been working closely with town officials because the MWRA will also install a 12-inch diameter Saugus water main to replace the aging pipes and service connections now providing drinking water and fire protection to residents and businesses along Route 1.The state and town will share the cost of the $5 million project, with the MWRA paying 72 percent and Saugus 28 percent, Convery said.The MWRA last December awarded the contract to the Albanese Brothers Inc. of Dracut.”This meeting will provide an opportunity for project neighbors to meet the contractors and ask specific questions about the project, construction and construction schedule,” Convery said.The meeting in the auditorium begins at 7 p.m.Since the water line runs beneath Route 1, lane closures will be necessary. Most work will take place in the evening. Once the project gets under way, work will be confined to the hours between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday evening through Friday morning.The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will allow the MWRA and the contractor one-lane closures from 9-11 p.m. daily and two-lane closures from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.Lane closures will not be allowed one day prior to and one day following a holiday, according to Convery.Work is slated for completion by fall 2012. The project is sited along a stretch of the busy highway roughly between the Walnut Street overpass to the Fat Cactus restaurant near the Lynnfield town line.Saugus Chamber of Commerce President Sean Grant said MWRA officials plan to meet with Route 1 business owners and managers on March 24 at Town Hall at 8 a.m. to accommodate their commercial work day.

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