State Plans Broadway (Route 97) Improvements

Improvements to upper Broadway, from Silver Birch to Research Drive, will be coming in a few years.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said late Friday the city has received approval from the Metropolitan Planning Commission for the $5.7 million project. Costs will be split between the Federal Government (80 percent) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (20 percent). The city is required to pay a design cost for the project of $463,100 and has completed 25 percent of the design.

“This project will enhance the neighborhood by adding sidewalks for safety and trees for shade," Fiorentini said. “Beatification of our neighborhoods is a priority and this mostly federal and state funded project will add to the quality of life for our residents.”

The project is on the Transportation Improvement Project (TIP) list for fiscal year 2017. The improvements include new sidewalks, repaving of the street and new trees.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, "a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a transportation policy-making organization made up of representatives from local government and transportation authorities.  Federal legislation passed in the early 1970s required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area with a population greater than 50,000.  MPOs were created to ensure that existing and future expenditures for transportation projects and programs were based on a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive (3-C) planning process. Federal funding for transportation project and programs are channeled through this process."

Locally, the MPO is the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. The city's representative is Robert Driscoll.