By Angeljean Chiaramida
---- — SALISBURY — Four busy town intersections that funnel traffic to the beach are in line for more than $500,000 in safety upgrades by the state Department of Transportation.
According to an announcement issued Friday by state Rep. Michael A. Costello, D-Newburyport, and state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, state funding will be used to improve the intersections at:
Toll Road and Main Street
Main Street and High Street/Rabbit Road
Toll Road and Pike Street (Route 286)
Lafayette Road (Route 1) and Pike Street/Collins Street (Route 286).
The work will entail improvements to conduit, traffic control signal systems, pavement marking and other incidentals at the intersections, with a total cost of $587,508.
Dagle Electrical Construction Corp. was awarded the contract by MassDOT, according to the announcement.
Costello said the intersections are “the gateway to Salisbury Beach,” traveled thousands of times every day by residents and visitors alike.
“I think these improvements are a smart investment by the state,” said Costello, who thanked Highway Administrator Frank DePaola for his help with the project.
O’Connor Ives added the traffic signal upgrades, pavement markings and signage will make the intersections safer as well as more convenient for all who use them.
Town Manager Neil Harrington said the improvements have been in the works for years. The projects are already designed and part of the state’s transportation improvement plan. However, due to tight state budgets, the town has waited as the projects made their way up to the top of the state funding list.
Harrington said he was delighted to learn from the legislators on Friday that the money became available. He thanked Costello for nurturing the projects along their way the past few years.
Calling the projects a “huge public safety improvement for the town,” Harrington said he is looking forward to the work beginning, although he didn’t know exactly when that would be.