Hadley eyes state grant for West Street resurfacing

  • Hadley Town Administrator David Nixon GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/13/2019 11:23:13 AM

HADLEY — Hadley is pursuing a state grant that will pay for the resurfacing of a section of the heavily traveled West Street along the historic Town Common.

Hadley Town Administrator David Nixon said Tuesday that a $200,000 application was submitted for the MassWorks grant by Friday’s deadline, with the money slated to go toward repairing 44,000 square yards of the road.

The Select Board authorized the application last week, at which time Nixon said it made sense to try to get money from the state.

“The roads around the West Street common see a lot of traffic for residential streets, so there's a lot of wear and tear,” Nixon said. “We should upgrade them.”

Select Board Chairman Christian Stanley said some residents have asked for speed humps as a way to reduce speeding on West Street.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Chis Okafor said those would not be appropriate for West Street and that other traffic calming measures should be used, instead.

Amherst plans

In Amherst, which has annually submitted applications to the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program, town officials have opted against seeking money for the program this year, even though improvements to roads and sidewalks in the North Amherst village center are still being planned.

Amherst’s Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek said the timing was not right for this MassWorks round, after being denied $2 million last November. That marked the seventh time in eight tries that Amherst was unable to secure money for financing several different proposals in North Amherst.

But Ziomek said conversations are ongoing with residents, business owners and others in the village center about how to improve roads and sidewalks.

The town still wants to improve the main intersection of Meadow, Pine and North Pleasant streets, which gets congested during the morning and evening commutes, and finalize a design for how Montague and Sunderland roads should intersect, Ziomek said.

Part of the decision to wait on applying to MassWorks was also to understand how the North Square at Mill District project, which comes online this summer and fall, impacts traffic. That development includes 130 new rental units, 26 of which are affordable, and 22,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. 

The town has already taken steps to redesign the intersection of Montague and Sunderland roads, including a $675,000 purchase of the former Village Auto Service parcel just north of the North Amherst Library in 2016.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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