The city was recently awarded a $500,000 Complete Streets Grant that will help improve safety for students walking to and from the Mary C. Burke Elementary complex, as well as for motorists and other pedestrians in the area.
“This is keyed around the Eastern Ave. and Crescent intersection modernization project,” said Director of Housing and Community Development Alex Train. “Working with the school department, the intersection has been identified as a location with chronic safety issues, particularly for students walking toward the Mary C. Burke complex as well as parents who are driving through the intersection every day.”
Community Development is working with the DPW to design a series of upgrades that will alleviate congestion at the intersection, as well as promote safety for pedestrians and drivers.
“The grant is sufficient to fund construction,” said Train. “The City Council also commendably appropriated funding through the Capital Improvement program to undertake the construction. At this point, the goal is to retain a construction contractor over the course of December and January and proceed with upgrading the intersection in the spring of 2024 construction season.”
The city will be installing new modern traffic signal equipment that includes new signal fixtures as well as an intelligent traffic signal device that responds to changing traffic patterns that can help ease congestion and traffic back up.
“Additionally, the project will replace sidewalks that are deteriorating in the intersection, wheelchair ramps, and other traffic safety devices,” said Train. “Once the project is done, the intersection will be safer for pedestrians to cross and for drivers. The goal is to reduce wait times that folks face at that intersection due to traffic back ups.”