Region: Improvements coming to dangerous Haverhill intersection | News

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HAVERHILL — Work has begun at the intersection of Route 108 and Route 110 in an effort to improve the safety of the busy thoroughfare.

The work, which has expanded to include several improvements to the surrounding area, is scheduled for a completion date of September 2023.

The project’s budget increased to $3.4 million last summer due to a rise in the cost of materials and necessary improvements to an underground stormwater drain pipe. The additional $1.4 million in costs will be covered by federal and state transportation funds.

The site, across from Kenoza Lake, sees both significant traffic and a rate of accidents higher than the state average. The redesigned intersection should increase safety for motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic.

City Engineer John Pettis said signs for road work and truck detours have been installed.

The redesign of the intersection includes improvements to Newton Road (Route 108) at Kenoza Avenue/Amesbury Road (Route 110) and Humphrey Street in Haverhill. MassDOT spokesperson Kristen Pennucci said new pavement, concrete sidewalks with landscaped buffers, and dedicated bicycle lanes are among the upgrades.

The most crucial improvement is a dedicated left-turn lane on the eastbound side of Route 110. The current intersection combines a long line of sight with a small traffic island.

According to city consultant Joseph Johnson of Greenman-Pederson Inc., the configuration allows turns at high speed, resulting in more severe crashes. The dedicated turn lane will particularly aid trucks turning onto Route 108.

Federal highway funds will cover 80% of the expenses, while MassDOT will handle the remaining 20%. The city paid about $207,000 for the design.

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission helped secure the federal expenditure. MVPC transportation program manager Anthony Komornick ensured the project was included on the Transportation Improvement Program for funding. The MVPC also provided technical assistance. Komornick noted that the improved intersection will benefit students commuting to Northern Essex Community College by foot or bicycle.

Additional upgrades to the intersection include a new crosswalk close to the entrance of Winnekenni Park and drainage improvements.

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