The intersection of Carter Street and Everett Avenue is one of the busiest traffic areas in Chelsea.
Chelsea High School is the main landmark, with students entering and exiting the school on to both streets. The popular Floramo’s Restaurant is located just yards away while customers from Market Basket and Renee Caso Griffin’s two Dunkin stores drive through the intersection on a regular basis.
The well-known intersection is being transformed into one that will be safer and more aesthetically pleasing, and home to the most technologically advanced traffic signalization available.
Ben Cares, infrastructural planner and project manager for the Chelsea Department of Housing and Community Development Department, and Rebecca Wright, assistant city engineer from the DPW, hosted a public meeting Monday to talk about the major vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle improvements that will be coming to the intersection and the adjacent streets.
Cares said he will be the lead project for the intersection project.
“This particular project is an intersection and roadway improvement project at the intersection of Carter Street and Everett Avenue – it’s just adjacent to Chelsea High School,” explained Cares to those who were unfamiliar with the area. “It’s very much in need of pedestrian improvement via signalization, updated signalization for vehicular traffic, lane markings, and some minor ramp reconstruction to bring everything to ADA compliance.”
Cares said the approximate cost of the project will be $540,000 and it will be funded through a grant from the MassDOT Complete Streets Program.
Cares said that Rebecca Wright will be helping with field engineering and day-to-day activities on site. Dagle Electrical will be the contractor and The Engineering Corps (TEC) will be the on-site engineers for the project.
Wright unveiled renderings that showed the existing intersection and the changes that will include line-striping, bump-outs, extension of the sidewalks, and the replacement of a wheelchair ramp.
There will also be new bicycle lane pavement markings designed for use for bicyclists in a separate lane away from vehicles. New wheelchair ramps are also planned for Beech and Carter Streets.
Wright also said bicyclists will also have specific lanes that will run down Carter Street to Blossom Street.
“Another part of the project is traffic signal improvements,” said Wright. “We have the new Miovision detection (that instantly reduces the amount of traffic back-ups), new mast arms (steel structures that hold the traffic signals above the roadway), and new pedestrian signals,” said Wright.
Rectangular, rapid-flashing traffic beacons will also be installed at the intersection to alert vehicles and assist pedestrians intending to cross the intersection.
Cares said the city has been in “close coordination with Chelsea High School and surrounding businesses” about the project and its impacts on traffic during the construction process. Cares added that he welcomes suggestions from residents about the project, the construction launch date of which was not announced at the meeting.
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, who grew up on Fourth Street, praised the project, saying that, “Anytime that enhances the city and makes it safer, I’m all in,” said Robinson. “Traffic lights, street lights, let’s make the area safer and brighten up the area.”