EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

April 7, 2014

Dangerous intersection back for debate

New design eyed for spot where traffic scares neighbors

HAVERHILL — It’s an issue that just won’t go away.

It was the subject of many meetings and much dispute two years ago.

And now the matter of melding convenience with safety at the intersection of South Prospect, South Elm and South Pleasant streets appears to be on its way back to City Council for another round of debate.

Police said there have been several car crashes at the intersection of those three streets in Bradford since the city opened South Prospect to two-way traffic in 2012. None of the crashes resulted in serious injuries, but officials fear that might not be the case in the future.

Major James Fiorentini has said it would be futile to try to return South Prospect Street to its former one-way status because the majority of city councilors favor the current two-way traffic pattern.

Instead, the mayor has asked Public Works Director Michael Stankovich and City Engineer John Pettis to develop plans to make the complex intersection at the end of South Prospect Street safer. The mayor said the city has some state road improvement money that might be available for the work.

Councilor Michael McGonagle, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said Pettis has developed a design proposal to make the intersection safer and improve traffic congestion in the area.

The council agreed at its last meeting to ask Pettis to make a presentation on his proposal at an upcoming meeting, including a cost estimate for making the roadway improvements.

“The idea is to take a look at the design and see what it would cost before deciding if it’s something we want to pursue,” McGongle said.

South Prospect Street runs between busy South Main Street (Route 125) and South Elm Street, which connects to the Comeau Bridge and leads downtown.

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