Additional $4M to improve roadway, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure on Route 3A approved by State
At the Harbor Development Committee meeting on Wednesday night, Route 3A Task Force member Deirdre Anderson announced that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved a second round of funding for the Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary Project as part of its Transportation Improvement Plan for 2021-25. The new funding amounts to $4 million. The project, which has seen incremental improvements along the way, was previously approved by the MPO. Originally it was estimated to cost $8.7 million and was to be completed by 2024. The first round included funding for the road diet study that took place in 2018.
“Town Administrator Tom Mayo and congressional representatives were at the meeting,” shared Anderson.
When Harbor Development Committee member Marco Boer asked about progress, Anderson updated the Committee on the engineering design work for the North Street and Route 3A intersection which is right by Stars on Hingham Harbor. “Wayne Keefner, a civil engineer with Design Consultants working with the town, is revising the construction plans before the task force approaches the state for design exceptions for the roadway,” explained Anderson. The grant was applied for is under the Complete Streets program which comes with specific requirements that the Task Force will look to have waived.
Since its last meeting in February, the Route 3A Task Force has been finalizing design plans for the intersection. The design has been difficult for engineers due to the close proximity of the roadways to the harbor and downtown businesses. Due to these engineering limitations, the Task Force plans to ask MassDOT for permission to deviate from its criteria for bicycle and pedestrian paths which are required on all applications.
The Route 3A Task Force plans to discuss the design in greater detail at its next meeting on May 14th.
“In the coming weeks, once the design for the North Street intersection is finalized, they (Route 3A Task Force) want to meet with the Harbor Development Committee, Veterans Department and representatives from the Historical Commission and every constituent with parcels in the harbor to talk about overall landscape and design issues with regard to pedestrian and bicycle access on the shared use path and how it intersects with the harbor walk,” said Anderson.
In total, more than $12 million will be invested in the reconstruction of this section of the roadway from the Hingham Lobster Pound on Route 3A to the Rockland Street and George Washington Boulevard intersection near the Hingham/Hull line. The roadway improvements are expected to help reduce vehicular accidents at the harbor through the redesign of turn lanes and the rotary.
On April 30th, the MPO voted to release a draft of the latest Transportation Improvement Plan for a 21-day public review period. It had to be approved by the MPO first before it could go out to public comment, and it will be officially voted on at their meeting on the 28th where it is expected that the MPO will endorse it. Comments will be accepted from members of the public through May 21st. During the public comment period, the MPO will host some meetings: one board meeting on May 14th and two virtual open houses on May 7th and 18th.
Greg Lane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.