NEWBURYPORT — The city has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation to pay for repositioning the Route 1 traffic circle and the completion of the Clipper City Rail Trail.
The money will be awarded to the city through the state’s Complete Streets program, which helps communities that put the program’s policies and practices in place by funding technical assistance. The Complete Streets program has been adopted by many Massachusetts communities.
The $400,000 grant was confirmed in a Jan. 9 letter from MassDOT to Mayor Donna Holaday, who said the money will fund construction of a “shift” in the rotary, some repaving, and the connection of the Clipper City Rail Trail across State Street and Route 1 to Parker Street.
Holaday said MassDOT hired the engineering firm Howard Stein and Hudson to evaluate the traffic circle, and that construction will be carried out by TEC, Inc., the city’s consultant for Complete Streets.
She said TEC, Inc., has come up with a few designs, which include a “slight adjustment” of the traffic circle, the installation of an off-road path along a section of Parker Street and an upgrade the State Street-Parker Street intersection. One possible design, Holaday said, includes putting traffic signals at that intersection.
No specific plans or designs have yet been drafted, she said.
“They’re working with us to make this rail trail connection, completing that piece and making it safer for cars, bikers and pedestrians, so this is great news for the city,” said Holaday. “It’s very exciting.”
Holaday said that once a design has been drafted and presented to city officials, the public will be given the opportunity to weigh in.
Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newburyport City Hall. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.