Above: Estimated geographic scope of proposed Route 113 corridor study and conceptual planning
Route 113 Corridor Study
The 2023 Spring Town Meeting warrant included an article proposing funding to initiate a conceptual planning process for the Route 113 corridor, extending from the City of Newburyport border (easterly edge) running westerly to the Groveland town line. The work scope includes a specific focus on several identified “nodes”, which will receive focused design attention during this public planning process. Design “nodes” will include (but not necessarily be limited to):
- Page School / Pipestave / Mill Pond vicinity
- Library and Town Hall / Long Hill Orchard vicinity
- Town Center vicinity, Town Offices / West Newbury Housing Authority / Soldiers & Sailors Building vicinity
- Middle/High School vicinity
The contract deliverables include conceptual planning for the corridor, and identifying pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements along the corridor and at specific focus areas. This study is expected to result in several proposed safety projects that would then – either individually, in segments/phases, or in total – be advanced through the necessary engineering and permitting processes. This work is expected to improve the Town’s competitiveness for additional State and Federal funding, for project construction, including through the regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) process administered by MVPC as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Page School/Pipestave/Route 113 Crossing
In June 2022 the Town completed a Traffic Safety Audit of this key intersection. Town planning efforts resulted in selection of a preferred conceptual design from several alternatives considered. The complete consultant study, including the conceptual design plans shown here, is provided in the links below.
In the Fall of 2022, the Town pursued a Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) grant with active community support. Although the grant was not funded, Town staff in continuing contact with SRTS program administrators, may pursue a modified grant next fall. The full SRTS grant application including all the letters of support is provided in the links below.
Above: Broad geographic scope of November 2022 Safe Routes to Schools application called for new sidewalk along Route 113, in addition to improved crossing and RFB at Page/Pipestave
In FY23, the Town secured a $30,000 State Budget earmark administered through the MA Office of Tourism. The Town contracted with TEC (engineering consultant), and work is underway to advance the engineering design, survey, and MassDOT permitting process for the proposed Page / Pipestave pedestrian crossing / Rapid Flasher Beacon (RFB). The 25% conceptual plan was presented to the Select Board on June 26, 2023. (See graphic below and see link below for full presentation). The Select Board voted to submit the 25% planset to MassDOT for review. The design will then be further advanced under the Route 113 contract approved at the 2023 Spring Town Meeting.
Above: 25% concept plan presented to the Select Board on June 26, 2023, including pedestrian- and equestrian- activated Rapid-Flasher-Beacon.
Town Center Traffic Calming
In February 2023, the Town's DPW Director prepared a draft concept sketch, showing traffic calming/pedestrian amenities in the Town Center area (generally including Main Street from the Church Street intersection, running westerly past Maple Street, and extending through the Food Mart lot frontage). The Town has since received a $50,000 State Budget earmark from the MA Office of Economic Development. The Town will prepare a scope of services and engage a transportation engineering firm with a landscape architect sub-consultant to create multiple concept plans showing traffic calming, pedestrian, and bike safety improvements in the Town Center, and undertake a public process to build consensus around a preferred concept. Once a preferred concept is selected, additional engineering work will be needed to get any proposed improvements through the MassDOT permitting process; then, funding will be needed for construction.
Above: One concept sketch for potential traffic calming in the Town Center. During the future planning process for the Town Center, a consultant will be engaged to prepare multiple alternate concepts for public consideration.
Improved Crosswalks/Signage near Town Offices
The Town has petitioned MassDOT to install improved signage giving drivers better advance notice of these two crosswalks, and to repaint the crosswalks. MassDOT has committed to install new signage in the Spring of 2023, and to repaint the crosswalks as part of its annual program. As part of the broader corridor study, this location will be considered for potential RFBs.
See the links below for correspondence with MassDOT regarding various crosswalk improvement needs along Route 113.
Christine Wallace, P.E., DPW Project Manager
(978) 363-1100 x130