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Improvements pending on Quincy’s Sea Street

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  December 21, 2012 04:17 PM

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Quincy officials are hoping to inch toward a safer Sea Street with the design of several improvements along the corridor.

According to Ward 1 Councilor Margaret Laforest, the road has been a problem for decades, with numerous spots along the wide and lengthy street either unwieldy or dangerous.

Though previous studies on the street have been conducted, the mayor’s office recently finished another one looking at the entire corridor and identifying problems along the way.

“The mayor wants to do our due diligence, we want to get it right,” Laforest said.

With the findings of that study in hand, the city is expected to provide $116,800 in design work to develop solutions to the problems identified in the report.

Though the design firm will look at most of the street and numerous issues, four main problems will be the largest, and most likely the most expensive to fix, Laforest said.

Among them, the city is looking to widen Sea Street at Quincy Shore Drive to allow for an easier right turn onto Quincy Shore.

Currently, commuters traveling from Houghs Neck, Post Island Road, Adams Shore, Germantown, and Merrymount struggle with the roadway, particularly in the morning.

The design work will also look to add a traffic light at Murphy Memorial Drive/Narragansett Road/Sea Street intersection.

“It is very difficult to turn left out of the Hockey Rink, a.k.a. Murphy Memorial Drive. This traffic light will be synced with the light at Ginger Betty’s, which will become a pedestrian light,” Laforest said.

A similar solution will be looked at for Braintree Ave/Albatross Road/Sea Street area, where a pedestrian light will be installed and then synced up with the light at Palmer Street.

Finally, there might be potential for a bump out at Curlew Road to improve sight lines to get on Sea Street.

The study funding will be voted on in subcommittee most likely in January, and if funding is approved, the project put out to bid with specifications in the first few months of the year.

Funding for the project is slated to come from the Public Works Traffic fund.

Laforest hopes that from there, the public vetting process can begin.

“We’ll host meetings with neighborhood association and go back around the table to get their input, then finish up the design and implementation,” she said. “Hypothetically [we’ll use] a lot of local knowledge about how it’s being utilized vs. what might work for a street in that neighborhood.”

Loforest wasn't sure where the money for construction will come from, and officials from the mayor’s office did not immediately return calls for comment.

A timeline for the construction is also up in the air.

“We’ll see when the design comes out; that will drive the timeline,” Laforest said.

Regardless of how it is funded - through state aid or entirely from the city -- Laforest said city officials are committed to seeing a project that has been needed for too long.

“Where is the funding coming from is another layer of difficulty. But we know we need this improvement…we’re committed to getting that done,” Laforest said.

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