Mayor Mike Cahill has said the company hired by the city to design the project estimated the cost of the landfill work at anywhere from $800,000 to $5 million, while CEA Group’s engineers have put the price at $500,000.
Cahill said yesterday he is anxious for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and CEA Group to agree on a plan so the city can begin building the new connector road. The city was awarded a $5 million state grant last year to pay for the road.
“My responsibility is to build the road, whether it’s on CEA property or on the footprint of the existing road,” Cahill said.
Jacobs Engineering, the company hired by the city, has said moving the connector road 300 feet onto the former landfill would improve traffic flow. Residents opposed to the plan, which includes roundabouts on both ends of the connector road, said the shopping plaza and road design would make traffic worse.
Cohen said he is willing to assume the costs of ensuring the structural integrity of the landfill road because he has spent two years planning his shopping plaza based on the city’s land-swap proposal.
“I’ve got two years of work and the expense associated with that based on a plan that the city of Beverly told me they wanted to implement,” he said.
Cohen had said before February’s special election that Whole Foods Market, which is supposed to be part of the $20 million plaza, would not come to Beverly unless he could build the larger plaza.
Asked yesterday if that was still the case, he said, “It’s an unknown.”
“If we change the plan, I have to go back to Whole Foods, and everything has to be started from scratch,” he said.
The engineering report commissioned by CEA Group said potential settlement of a new road built through the former landfill would be less than 1 inch along most of the roadway.