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GA Blog: Newbury

Showing blogs: 16 of 8

1.4.12 Route 95 Bridge Being Replaced – Effect on Bike Trail

The Whittier Bridge on Route I-95

The Newburyport Current recently reported that the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge on Route 95, spanning the Merrimack River from Amesbury and Newburyport, is set to be replaced in a state project aimed to stat in the spring of 2013.  The project is one of the state highway department of transportation’s largest under the $3 billion Accelerated Bride Program.

The 60-year old bridge will be replaced with a four-lane highway with a shared-use path for bikers and walkers called the Whittier Trail. The four-lane bridge should speed up traffic on the sometimes congested I-95 area, as well as promote alternative modes of transportation with the Whittier Trail.

Local members of the Coastal Trails Coalition have raised concern that the new trail over the span will poorly affect the current trail system that runs through Amesbury, Newburyport, Newbury and Salisbury. Although the state is placing a trail system over the new bridge, it fails to continue the bike paths in the other areas it plans to widen the highway.

The trail coalition will likely discuss the trail issues at a state design public hearing set for the spring of 2012.

Read the Newburyport Current article.

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12.20.10 Newbury Nonprofit Receives Grant to Conserve Land

The Newburyport Current reported that roughly 26 acres of land will be conserved in Newbury, MA by Essex County Greenbelt, after the group received a $47,450 state grant to do so. The grant is one of seven Conservation Partnership Grants awarded by the state. In 2011 there will be nearly half a million dollars granted through the Conservation Partnership Program to preserve 374 acres throughout the Bay State.

“Conservation Partnership grants are designed to help nonprofit organizations purchase land or interests in land (such as conservation restrictions) for conservation or recreation.” The land must also provide a benefit to the public.

The grant given to Greenbelt will be used to conserve an area in Newbury that abut the Martin H. Burns Wildlife Management Area, a 2,500-acre wildlife conservation. The land which contains a large wetland area, a hardwood forest and several streams is a “critical wildlife habitat” to area wildlife.

Read the entire Newburyport Current article.

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3.16.10 Smart Growth Development in Newbuyport/Newbury

The Daily News is reporting that after a few years of being on hold, talks are back on between the MBTA, Newburyport and Newbury for a mixed use, retail and residential development which would be known as Little River Transit Village.

The MBTA recently notified Newburyport of their intent to release 4 surplus parcels of their property around the commuter station in an effort to encourage Newburyport and Newbury to create a Chapter 40R Smart Growth Overlay District, which has growing in popularity across the state with nearly 30 cities and towns approving such plans around commuter rail facilities.

To read more about Chapter 40R Smart Growth, please click here.

Read the entire Daily News article.

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5.5.08 Rail Trail Continuing to be Debated

The Tri-Town Transcript is reporting that the proposed rail trail, a 26-mile trail to run from Salisbury to Danvers, is continuing to be debated by committies and town selecteman.

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3.4.08 28-mile Bike Trail to Run From Boxford Through Newburyport

According to the Georgetown Record, MassHighway is moving forward on a proposed 28-mile bike trail set to run through Georgetown, agreeing to perform and fund 25% design work on the Border to Boston Trail. The trail will run on top of the historic and abandoned Maine to Boston railway, running from Salisbury to the Danvers/Peabody border. The proposed trail is set to run through Boxford, Danvers, Georgetown, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, Topsfield and Wenham.

The trail has been earmarked for $800,000 of federal safety funding to do the design work, secured by U.S. Rep. John Tierney in 2005. The final cost to complete the 25% design work is expended to exceed nearly $1 million, but MassHighway hopes to be able to provide the balance of funds needed for the project. MassHighway has begun the process of hiring a qualified consultant for the design, which is expected to be complete by the summer of 2009.

Read the entire Georgetown Record article.

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11.6.07 Affordable Housing in North Essex County

According to the Newburyport Daily News, here is breakdown of affordable housing percentages in many of the Northern Essex County communities:

Amesbury 11.1%
Georgetown 13.9%
Groveland 3.5%
Merrimac 6.5%
Newbury 3.6%
Newburyport 8.4%
Rowley 4.4%
Salisbury 8.3%
West Newbury 1.8%

SOURCE: State Department of Housing and Community Development

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