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Amherst seeks state approval to start road projects

Though the town has plans to resurface several streets, including Triangle and String streets and Lincoln Avenue, the work can’t start until the town is authorized to spend its chapter 90 money.

Town Manager John Musante said this week that he has submitted a letter to the state’s Department of Transportation to spend around $600,000 that would be targeted for resurfacing on Lincoln Avenue, Cottage Street and Triangle Street, and the installation of speed humps on Dana and Blue Hills roads.

The amount is about half of what the town is projected to receive. Musante said he is confident the town will be allowed to go forward with this first batch of projects.

Musante said the paving bids are in hand, but he can’t give notice to proceed to any of the companies. “We can’t give approval without real money,” Musante said.

Musante said wrangling between Gov. Deval Patrick and the state Legislature is the issue. Though the chapter 90 funds coming to Amherst could go up to $1.2 million, or $400,000 more than received last year, the governor has not yet released this money.

“We are eager for the conference committee and the governor to work it out so we can fix our roads and put people to work,” Musante said.

The town has additional money from a $1 million road bond, approved by Town Meeting last fall, that is aimed at Strong Street, a section of West Street near Hampshire College and a portion of Triangle Street.

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