EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 4, 2014

I-93 rotary project to start this summer

METHUEN — Delayed work on the Route 110 rotary at Interstate 93 could start this summer, once a $56.4 million construction contract is approved by the state transportation department, city and state officials said.

The work is expected to take about four years and will eliminate the large rotary that currently manages traffic for Route 110, Route 113, North Lowell Street, Riverside Drive and the four ramps onto and off of the interstate. City officials said the rotary is highly prone to accidents and may prevent businesses from locating in the area.

“Once this goes through, we’ll start to market Route 110,” said Mayor Stephen Zanni. Some zoning may change around the area from mixed use to commercial when the project is completed.

Zanni said Route 110, which stretches through Methuen from Lawrence on the way to Lowell, is an ideal place to locate a business near Boston at a lower cost. “What we don’t want to do is impede on the residential areas, but at the rotary there’s a big vacant warehouse near J.G.’s ice cream,” Zanni said. “That’s a big building that could be used for a number of small businesses or a large business.”

Stow construction firm E.T.&L. Corp. submitted a bid of $56.45 million, said Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amanda Richard. The bid must be approved by the MassDOT Board of Directors, and is anticipated to be awarded next month, she said.

E.T.&L., which built the new Canal Street bridge near Marston Street in Lawrence, submitted a bid that was nearly $6.8 million lower than state officials budgeted for construction costs.

The project’s estimated price tag, initially $70 million, jumped to $77 million last year and included construction, police, engineering, utility and contingency costs. But E.T.&L.’s bid will lower that estimate back down to about $70 million.

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