Council Approves Haverhill Private Snowplow Rates of $77-$148/Hour; Also Seeks to Expedite Bridge Work

A view of Haverhill's Basiliere Bridge as seen from the Merrimack River. (WHAV News photograph by Jay Saulnier)

Traffic and the condition of Haverhill’s roadways dominated much of the agenda at last week’s City Council meeting.

As reported previously on WHAV, due to a nationwide driver shortage, the city expects to have trouble keeping up with plowing the streets this winter. As a result, Haverhill City Councilors unanimously agreed to a 10% rise in rates for private snow removal.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said while Haverhill could not compete with wealthier cities, a rate increase would probably help attract more plow drivers.

The new hourly rates vary from $77 to $148 per hour depending on the weight and type of equipment used. The new plan also gives Haverhill contractors first consideration when being called and plow drivers will be guaranteed a minimum of a four-hour time allotment for each call out by the city.

Haverhill City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan.

On another matter, Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan asked his colleagues to consider pushing for an accelerated time frame for repair work on the rapidly deteriorating Basiliere Bridge. He cited the recently passed $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that will provide billions of dollars for the repair of roads and bridges in the state.

Construction is scheduled to begin on the bridge’s centennial in 2025, but Sullivan wondered aloud if work can begin sooner with this new influx of money.

“With the new infrastructure money available, I think it would be a good thing if we would send a letter to our legislative delegation, the governor, the secretary of transportation and ask all of them to accelerate this project, particularly the preliminary work that we could get started on now,” he said.

He added the city can also begin planning now for how best to deal with the impact of lane closures while work is being done.

This is not the first time the city has asked for expedited repairs of the more than 800-foot span across the Merrimack River. As WHAV reported at the start of 2020, councilors asked the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and federal agencies requesting to initiate replacement as soon as possible.

Back in 2016, WHAV reported the then-estimated $64 million Basiliere Bridge replacement would add a bikeway, but was not yet scheduled.

Councilors again supported the idea and voted unanimously to send a request to all parties concerned.

Comments are closed.