SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

September 13, 2013

Scanlon: Brimbal Avenue project would benefit Beverly

This is an open letter to the citizens of Beverly:

During most of the last two decades while I have been privileged to be your mayor, we have worked together to make our city better and done so with real success. Much is improved, including our schools, parks, protection against flooding and financial stability.

Yet, there are still things we ought to do but we do not have the resources to accomplish. More than a decade ago a concept to upgrade the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 Intersection was first advanced. Such a project would serve to improve vehicular safety while saving time and fuel currently wasted by motorists sitting in lines of traffic.

As a civil engineer by training, this project appealed to me and in my opinion appeared to be a project that would help many people. As a result, I have devoted a lot of time and effort to make these improvements become a reality.

I hope that after nearly 18 years of service you understand that I am motivated by what I believe is best for Beverly. Just that — nothing more or less.

With grant funding that former state Sen. Fred Berry helped us to secure, we have studied this project and its ramifications since 2005. Last year, with the receipt of a MassWorks Grant, we developed, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), an agreed roadway design for Phase One of what would be a two-phased project. The state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs recently granted us permission to proceed with the first phase. which would be financed entirely with state grant funds for which we are now applying. During the course of this process it became clear that significant job creation and new revenues amounting to millions of dollars annually for the city of Beverly could be a direct consequence of the roadway improvements. These revenues would be used to pave our streets, to construct new public safety and public service facilities and accomplish other goals that would improve Beverly’s livability. Let’s examine the situation including the current and proposed roadway configuration and the parcel that would be developed.

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