SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 1, 2014

Developer: Landfill can support new road

Crushed-stone 'piers' proposed to prevent ground settlement

BEVERLY — The developer of a proposed shopping plaza on Brimbal Avenue has submitted a plan to the state that calls for drilling crushed-stone “piers” to support a new road through a former city landfill.

CEA Group President Steven Cohen said the piers would prevent the road from settling and allow the city to proceed with a plan that was supported by voters in February’s special election.

“The bottom line is that it’s a very clear, strong, unambiguous and kind of irrefutable analysis that basically says the road can be built as intended and designed over landfill materials,” Cohen said yesterday.

CEA Group submitted the 302-page engineering report to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation last week in response to concerns that a new road connecting Sohier Road and Brimbal Avenue could not be supported by the former landfill, which is now owned by CEA.

If the state does not agree with the proposal, it would negate a proposed land swap between the city and CEA Group that would allow the company to build a larger shopping plaza.

Voters approved a controversial zoning change in February that CEA Group needs to build a plaza on the swapped land. That election would be moot if the state does not allow a road to be built through the former landfill.

In that case, the city would build a new road on the footprint of the current connector road, and CEA Group could build a smaller plaza on the adjacent land it currently owns.

A Department of Transportation spokesman said the agency would comment after an “extensive review” of the report.

In his proposal to the state, Cohen said CEA Group would be “solely responsible” for the cost of reinforcing the landfill so the road could be built. He declined to say how much it would cost.

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