EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 16, 2014

Plaistow service road could bring safety, opportunity

Project could go to bid in late 2015

PLAISTOW — Town officials and business owners say a service road along Route 125 could bring the services they want and the safety they need.

The state Department of Transportation is buying up land for its planned $8 million widening of Route 125, from East Road to Rose Avenue.

Part of the project includes building a half-mile service road that would parallel Route 125 and connect to Old Road.

Building the road would add emergency access behind several Route 125 businesses and provide drainage to a manmade pond in the project, Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.

For each property sandwiched between Route 125 and the proposed service road, there is a building up front and nothing out back, Fitzgerald said.

Eleven parcels would abut the service road once it’s built.

“We’re not just looking to have some stunted service corridor,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re going to have a town road that will give us a broader opportunity to define value to the town.”

Creating the service road would set up a reason for businesses to build on the back of each property, he said.

“You’re going to have a brand new road that will create frontage on a town-owned road,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s typically valuable.”

Everybody has a vision for what that could look like.

Fitzgerald said he imagines a road with old-fashion streetlights and sidewalks.

Planet Fitness operations manager Elaine Doroff said she wanted a health food restaurant to complement her business.

Allen Furniture sales manager Kimberly Richards said she would like to see some mom-and-pop shops open up.

Shinobi Martial Arts owner Darryl Brazee looked past the opportunities that could come with the road.

“Access with traffic going back and forth will help my business,” he said. “I’m excited about it. It’s great.”

Some residents have concerns about additional traffic from the project, Fitzgerald said.

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