SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 5, 2013

Letter: Don't delay second phase of Brimbal project

(Continued)

Likewise during the meeting we were told that Phase Two cannot occur without the completion of Phase One. I have read and heard information telling me on one hand it is a funding issue, in that we need the taxes generated by Phase One to undertake Phase Two, and on the other hand it is an engineering consideration of needing to tie in all the traffic improvements together. But Mr. Emory stated Phase Two was originally the only project on the drawing board when he first came to work on this for the city of Beverly. I believe if funding were available Phase Two could stand on its own. It is the phase of the project that gives some traffic relief to the Brimbal Avenue-Sohier Road-Dunham Road area, and opens up larger parcels of land for development and greater future tax revenues than Phase One. However, Richard Sullivan, the state Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary, has stated that Phase Two “will not occur in the foreseeable future.”

If Phase One is undertaken, we cannot afford to wait for Phase Two like we waited more than 10 years for the new high school, or for the time it took to build the new Beverly-Salem Bridge . . . 40 years or more, depending on who you ask. To do Phase One without a plan and timeline in place to fix the North Beverly MBTA Rail crossing situation, either before or concurrently with the Phase One work, and along with a firm commitment from the state to embark on Phase Two within a very short, reasonable time frame after the completion of Phase One, seems like a plan that falls short. It leaves the residents of that area with no solution to an already difficult traffic situation by adding a plaza that may make matters worse for some time. It seems quite an unfair burden for one section of Beverly.

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