Haverhill to Replace Jersey Barriers Near Outside Dining with Concrete Planters Paid by State Grant

Barriers in from of Essex Street Grille and Wicked Big Cafe on Essex Street in Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Large concrete planters will replace Jersey barriers in front of dining areas as Haverhill benefits from a nearly $50,000 state Shared Streets and Spaces Program grant.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said Friday by purchasing the new planters, the city can redeploy them at schools when outside dining season ends to make school bus drop-off zones safer.

“First we’re going to use them downtown to make all our outside dining areas look better and then we’re going to move them to the schools as part of our plans to make school driveways and bus drop-off areas safer,” Fiorentini said. “The Jersey barriers are very good for safety but they’re not very nice to look at. The large concrete planters that we are buying are just as safe as Jersey barriers but much more aesthetically pleasing.”

Haverhill received $48,735 from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation program intended to “support projects that promote public health, safe mobility and renewed commerce by quickly providing new or repurposed space for socially-distanced walking, bicycling, dining, retail and bus travel,” according to the city’s award letter. Community Development Director Andrew K. Herlihy wrote the grant application.

As a condition of the grant, the city must detail lessons learned and provide before and after photographs of improvements. Grant recipients may also be invited to participate in learning exchanges with other municipalities that received funding.

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