The reconstruction of Driftway was largely completed before the July 4th weekend. The only remaining work is the final coat of paving and the final line striping, which will be done after Labor Day. In terms of amenities, the antique lighting will be installed in the fall, as will outdoor seating, which will be located at the eastern end of the street, close to the water. The total cost of this project will exceed $700,000, with the bulk of the cost ($542,000 being paid for by two State grants and Chapter 90 State road paving money. The Town will continue to work with private property owners in the area, National Grid and Verizon to complete the process of burying the utility lines on Driftway in underground conduits and removing the unsightly poles along the roadway.
Ring’s Island Resiliency Project
The Town has been working for the past few years to design a project to improve resiliency against flooding along the two major access points to the Ring’s Island neighborhood, which are Ferry Road and March Street/First Street. When high tide events are combined with coastal storms, Ring’s Island is often cut off by flooding from the rest of town. For several months, working with a grant from the State, the Town’s engineering consultants designed a project which had the goal of raising the elevation of Ferry Road to address one of the two major access points. However, after reviewing the engineer’s design, the State decided that the project would not likely receive the necessary environmental permits, and the Town’s grant application for construction of the project was denied. The Town is now going back to the drawing board and having its consultants design a plan to alleviate the flooding conditions at the intersection of March Road and First Street. The environmental issues at this location are less complicated and the Town is optimistic that it will be awarded a construction grant to implement this plan when the next grant funding opportunity comes around.
Bridge Road Water Main Project
The bulk of the work on this project is complete. The new water main, running from the foot of the Gillis Bridge to Salisbury Square, has been installed and tested and is now fully operational. Eighty services connections to homes, businesses and other properties have been installed and are being utilized. Once the roadway has settled, the contractor will return in the late fall to complete the final trench patching, to be done in preparation for the State to come in and put the final coat of asphalt paving on the entire street. This final work will be done as part of a larger State paving project on Rte. 1, which has seen this stretch of roadway been repaved from Danvers up to Newbury. The final stretch will be from Newbury to Salisbury Square. The Town timed the completion of the water main project in order to save costs on the final paving of the roadway
State Grant for Forest Road/Gerrish Road, Schoolhouse Lane
The Town has received a $250,000 grant from the State to begin the design phase of several safety improvements in the neighborhood bordered by Forest Road, Gerrish Road, and Schoolhouse Lane. The first phase of the grant will allow the Town to hire a consultant to design specific safety measures, including new sidewalks, new signage, etc. There have been meetings with residents and the concept has been positively received. Once the engineer have finished their draft design plans, the Town will share them with residents for further input and suggestions. Once a design plan is approved, the Town will apply to the State for funding to construct the recommended safety improvements.