The first phase of the project also includes widening a section of Brimbal Avenue from two lanes to four lanes. Roundabouts will be installed where the new connector road intersects with Sohier Road and Brimbal Avenue, and traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Brimbal Avenue and Herrick Street Extension.
Pam Kampersal of the Norwood Pond Coalition said the group is “very disappointed” by Sullivan’s decision to waive the environmental study.
“We feel he made a precedent-setting decision that might eliminate future (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) regulations to be followed in similar infrastructure projects,” Kampersal wrote in an email.
Kampersal said the environmental study should be done now because there are “clear linkages” between the first and second phases of the project.
The second phase involves building a bridge over Route 128 between Brimbal Avenue and Dunham Road, among other traffic improvements to the area. Scanlon has said the plan will open up acres of land on both sides of the highway to development, creating jobs and generating tax revenue for the city.
That phase, which is expected to cost around $20 million, will have a larger environmental impact and will require an Environmental Impact Report.
Sullivan, in his ruling, said the first phase can be considered as a separate project because the second phase “will not occur in the foreseeable future.”
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.