House Agrees to Amend Borrowing Bill to Extend Fiorentini Rail Trail, Redesign Methuen Intersection

Haverhill Mayor at the Fiorentini Bradford Rail Trail. (Courtesy photograph.)

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell. (WHAV News photograph.)

Plans to connect the Fiorentini Bradford Rail Trail with the MBTA Bradford train station and redesign the Marston’s Corner intersection in Methuen got a boost last week when. Rep. Linda Dean Campbell won an amendment to a statewide transportation bond bill.

The House version of the bill, taken up last Thursday, authorizes the sale of up to $18 billion in bonds in order to invest in roads, bridges and public transportation at the local and state levels. Campbell’s amendments bring $3.13 million for a safety redesign of Marston’s Corner and $350,000 for the Fiorentini Bradford Rail Trail connection in Haverhill.

“As our state continues to safely reopen, more people will be getting out on the roads or hopping on the train to get to work. We have to continue to make transportation a priority as we manage this pandemic,” said Campbell.

Marston’s Corner, at the intersection of Route 113, Howe Street and Jackson Street in Methuen, experiences a heavy flow of drivers and large commercial vehicles that have left the intersection in need of repairs and safety upgrades. State money supports traffic signal coordination improvements, pedestrian improvements, removal of flashing traffic signals and the addition of bike lanes.

Money for the Fiorentini Bradford Rail Trail expands access to public transportation, pedestrian modes of transport and outdoor recreation in Haverhill, which, Campbell’s office said, “benefits economic development, environmental well-being and residents’ quality of life.”

Originally planned as the Bradford Rail Trail, the Haverhill City Council voted three years ago to name it after Fiorentini. Councilor William J. Macek explained at the time, the mayor “really is the visionary—the one that’s out front and has pushed, at times when I’m going ‘I don’t know if he can pull this off’ to myself, and he always did. He always received more land.”

The House and Senate versions of the bond bill must be negotiated before a final version is sent to Gov. Charlie Baker.

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