EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 3, 2013

Route 125 access road still years away

Plaistow connector road is still a few years away

By Alex Lippa
alippa@eagletribune.com

---- — PLAISTOW — Town officials continue to work with the state on a new access road along Route 125. But it looks like it will be coming later than expected.

The proposed connector road would be behind the businesses along Route 125 from 95 Plaistow Road to a connection with Old Road.

Officials hope the road would alleviate traffic on Route 125 and improve public safety access. The road is just one piece of the $52.8 million widening of Route 125 in Plaistow and Kingston. The entire project is slated to be completed in 2019.

“We are eager to finalize a number of the elements on the road,” Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said. “But there are a few logistics that have to be evaluated that could impact sensitive environmental resources in that area.”

Fitzgerald had hoped the road would be completed by 2015, but now the estimated target date is 2017.

“We were hoping that it would be advanced sooner,” Fitzgerald said. “But given some of the fiscal challenges of the state and federal budgets, that’s the timeline we’re working with.”

Both the state and the town are working with abutters who have concerns about the potential road.

Mark Marino owns 95 Plaistow Road, which is home to 24 businesses.

“The state wants to take over 70 feet of my parking lot,” Marino said. “The road would go over our leachfield, as well as gas and safety lines.”

Marino said he’s been in constant communication with officials over the last several months.

“I’d just like them to move the road so it doesn’t affect our lot,” he said.

Another issue Marino has is a planned 100,000-square-foot retention pond on his property.

“We’ve got the Plaistow Learning Center in our building,” he said. “They do a nature walk in that area. To have that pond anywhere near the building is an issue.”

Rob Waters of Megastore Trucks on 103 Plaistow Road supports the project.

“It will allow access to the back of our properties, which will raise the values of our properties and increase tax revenues,” Waters said.

Fitzgerald said it would relieve traffic congestion on Route 125.

“It would hopefully reduce truck traffic on the road,” he said. “If delivery trucks have to stop and turn into the plazas on Route 125, it can cause a little bit of a backup.”

Victoria Chase, the project manager for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, said the issues they are encountering are standard.

“Any time you’re putting in a road where there isn’t one now, then there is bound to be property impacts associated with that,” she said. “Everyone wants to have their say and give us their specific needs.”

Chase said they are still several months away from appraising and acquiring property. She expects the final design of the road by 2015.