EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 11, 2014

$1.3 million roadway

Oakland Avenue to be rebuilt this year

METHUEN — It could be the worst roadway in Methuen.

A portion of Oakland Avenue west of Lowell Street, a stretch pocked with multi-tiered potholes and rippling with temporary patches, could get an extensive makeover this year.

Engineering firm B.S.C Group of Boston is doing the preliminary work now with the goal of having a construction contract before the City Council to approve by July or August and road crews on the job shortly thereafter.

The work would span about 1,200 feet of Oakland Avenue, from the intersection at Lowell Street to a recently-completed subdivision, and include major full-deck reconstruction, repaving, new sidewalks, planting trees and installing a new traffic signal at Lowell Street.

“It’s really the worst I’ve seen in Methuen,” said Oakland Avenue resident Meaghan McCarthy. She said her friend, who lives in an apartment above her, warned her about the condition of the street when she and her sister moved to the neighborhood.

“I’ve had visitors tell me it’s the worst road in Methuen they’ve ever seen,” McCarthy said.

Cory Llibre said she worries about her daughter. “She rides her bike and it’s a safety issue,” she said.

This part of Oakland Avenue has been a mess for years, residents and officials said. Harsh winters, temporary patches and construction vehicle traffic have chewed up the road surface.

Heavy snow provides some respite, evening the bumps and filling in the potholes, but the thaw inevitably leaves the road in even worse shape. Plows and the weather tear up the road, and while the city applies temporary fixes, residents said the patches are gone within weeks.

Robert Murphy lives at the top of the hill and said the road has been in terrible condition for years. “The only good thing is you can’t speed up and down,” he said. “You’d kill your car.”

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