Lynn receives $59 million for citywide road reconfiguration work

LYNN — The city will receive $59 million in funding through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for three roadway reconfiguration projects aimed at improving traffic and safety in those areas.

The city was approved for $36.2 million in federal aid highway funding for the reconstruction of Western Avenue from Market Square to Eastern Avenue, $16.9 million for the reconstruction of Essex Street from Eastern Avenue to Rockaway/Joyce Street, and $6.5 million for traffic and safety improvements at Broadway, Euclid Avenue and Jenness Street, according to a press release from the mayor’s office.

The three areas were chosen for improvements based on how heavily traversed they are and high crash data.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the city of Lynn to improve our transportation infrastructure and address long overdue traffic and safety deficiencies throughout the city,” Mayor Thomas M. McGee said in a statement. “Efficient and safe transportation within our city is the cornerstone of Lynn’s revitalization.”

McGee declined further comment through a spokeswoman.

Officials had been seeking financial support for the three major roadway improvement projects since the summer. Federal aid highway funding covers the entire construction cost of the project, as well as police details, construction engineering, contingencies and reimbursable utility relocations.

The city, which is responsible for costs associated with design, right-of-way acquisition and environmental permitting, enlisted WorldTech Engineering as a consultant for the design phase of the project. The company also assisted with the funding application process through MassDOT.

Workshops hosted by WorldTech and the city were held in September to gather public input and provide information on the projects. The next step is for the Woburn-based company to begin the preliminary design phase, which will include more public forums.

“There was a lot of public support during the workshops for each project,” said Rich Benevento, president of WorldTech, in a statement. “With aging infrastructure and the fiscal constraints facing communities, it is vitally important for cities like Lynn to secure placement in these programs.”

Western Avenue reconstruction includes three segments of roadway stretching around Stop & Shop, including Franklin, Boston and Washington streets. There are four Top 200 High Crash intersections within the Western Avenue project limits, at Eastern Avenue, Chestnut, Washington and Franklin streets.

There will be roadway and intersection improvements, which includes completely reconstructing two miles of Western Avenue. Pavement will be rehabilitated on Western Avenue and new concrete sidewalks will be added, along with ADA-compliant crosswalks, wheelchair ramps, bicycle accommodations and upgraded transit accommodations.

Safety and operational enhancements to the corridor will be aimed at improving travel for all modes of transportation — vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and transit. Traffic signals will be upgraded to improve flow and reduce congestion.

The reconstruction of Essex Street will include safety and operational improvements along one mile of the Essex corridor from Eastern Avenue to Rockaway and Joyce streets.

Overall, the project is aimed at targeting safety improvements including replacement of outdated traffic signals, and adding new concrete sidewalks, ADA-compliant crosswalks, wheelchair ramps, bicycle facilities, improving transit stops and rehabbing the roadway.

There are four High Crash clusters within the second project’s limits, at Eastern Avenue, Chatham Street, Chestnut Street from Essex Street to Union Street, and Essex Street at Rockaway and Joyce streets.

The Broadway traffic and safety improvements project will reconstruct a little more than a quarter of a mile of Broadway from Wyoma Square to Jenness Street. There are two High Crash clusters at the intersections of Broadway and Euclid Avenue, and Broadway at Jenness Street.

The Euclid Avenue intersection is among the Top 200 High Crash locations in the state with 55 crashes and 13 injuries between 2013 and 2015. The Jenness Street intersection had 26 crashes and five injuries during that same time period.

Safety improvements in this project are similar to the two others. The preliminary concept design includes signalizing the current stop-controlled intersection of Broadway at Jenness Street.

“My administration has made it a priority to invest in our roadway infrastructure in order to provide a safe, efficient and well-maintained transportation network and to keep pace with our growing city,” said McGee in a statement.

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