What’s being built around Westford? The League of Women Voters invited Town Engineer Paul Starratt to ask that question as part of a presentation at the J.V. Fletcher Library last week entitled "What's Being Built Around Us?"
There he talked about a variety of ongoing projects the town working on to improve the quality of life in town, most notably the failed Keyes Brook Culvert Project just off Groton Road near the Stony Brook School and the continuing Route 110 Reconstruction Project to help mitigate traffic along the road and Minot’s Corner in particular due to the nearby addition of Cornerstone Square.
Starratt added that Minot’s Corner drew two to three times the number of traffic accidents an intersection of its size should receive, and has not had any significant improvements since 1985.
Between the two, the 110 project garnered the most questions from the crowd, although there were very few negative reactions to the presentation itself, with most reactions geared not toward traffic, but rather specifics such as the placement of telephone poles and how that will impact the landscape.
With construction scheduled to begin this spring and continue next year, plans call for seven lanes, pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and a four foot wide shoulder that can be used by bicyclists. Starrat said the allowance for bicycle traffic does not call for the construction of bicycle lanes, but is in keeping with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation model of “complete streets” which allows for vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
While funding for the Minot’s Corner project has been obtained, Starratt said the town is still looking to obtain $400,000 from FEMA for the Keyes Brook project, which will hopefully stop significant erosion in the area and $300,000 from voters at Town Meeting this spring for an overall Stormwater Master Plan to help update structures in town that are unable to handle runoff into local bodies of water.
More information is available on the Town Engineer’s page of the town website.