SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 9, 2014

Our view: Courtesy and care needed on road projects

(Continued)

State Rep. Michael Costello, state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, and Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray have been attentive to their problems. Costello and O’Connor Ives have called upon the state to take the Taylors’ home by eminent domain, something the Taylors want to see happen as its value and their quality of life have plummeted. Many months ago, the Taylors and others had asked the state to take their properties, but they were denied. Perhaps now things will change. We feel the Taylors’ wishes should be met.

Some may argue caveat emptor — let the buyer beware. When buying a home near a highway, one can expect highway-related problems. But we suspect that no one could have anticipated the size and scope of the project that is underway now. The bridge over the Merrimack River is being completely demolished and replaced. Hundreds of trees that buffered noise and light are gone. The highway is being widened, and the location of the roadway is being altered to meet the location of the new bridges. The net effect is the road is being moved far closer to homes than it had ever been.

It’s become increasingly clear that no one understood how much this project would impact people who live near the I-95 corridor. As these individual cases of hardship emerge, we think the state should do its utmost to sympathize and solve the problems, whether that means putting people up in temporary homes, repairing damage or taking properties that have lost substantial value.

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