Engineering Director Updates Council on Reconstruction Projects

Erik Swanson is an engineering professional with more than 30 years of experience in the profession. The city’s director of engineering, Swanson showcased his superior knowledge and experience while providing a thorough update of the Ferry Street/Elm Street/Chelsea Street reconstruction project for Everett city councilors at their meeting Monday night.

The project is expected to forever transform the flow of traffic in a good way on a few of Everett’s busiest roads and intersections. Also captivating in the update was a discussion of the new roundabout that is being erected (at the intersection of Chelsea Street and Ferry Street), replacing the current traffic lights. A roundabout is a circular intersection and differs from a rotary in that it is smaller, with (usually) only one lane within a roundabout.

Swanson began his presentation with an explanation of “the southern section of the project where we will have reconstruction of both roadway and sidewalks for South Ferry Street, Chelsea Street, and the southern portion of Ferry Street, as well as the installation and creation of a roundabout.”

“This work has already started, with full excavation – pavement work will start later this week, and that work will be done at night,” Swanson told the Council.

At the northern end of the project, Elm Street and Ferry Street (toward Glendale Square) will be fully reconstructed – sidewalks as well as roadways, added Swanson.

Councilor-at-Large Rich Dell Isola, who had requested the update, inquired about the utility work still to be done in the project.

“The water is partially done, the majority of the utilities remaining will be electrical service for the new lights and traffic signals, some sewer work, and some gas work done by National Grid,” replied Swanson.

New Roundabout Creating Excitement

After confirming that there will be no traffic signals (no red, yellow, green lights, but plenty of signage indicating the new design) at the roundabout, Councilor Al Lattanzi asked about the completion date for that aspect of the project.

“I believe it will be substantially completed by the end of this construction season,” said Swanson. “The final condition won’t likely happen for another 18 months or so when all the final pavement is complete, and the striping goes on the pavement.”

Ward 3 Councilor Darren Costa asked about “the lifespan” of the work being done, to which Swanson replied, “I would say between 10-20 years for the pavement.”

Ward 1 City Councilor Wayne Matewsky wondered if the large sidewalk in front of Sam’s Spa (at the intersection of Chelsea and Ferry Streets) would be altered in the reconstruction project.

“The Sam’s Spa area has always been a mystery to me, how it extends so far out – it’s like an island within itself, and then you have all that angle parking,” noted Matewsky. “Is that all going to stay?”

“There are going to be geometric changes,” said Swanson. “Some parking will remain, but the wide-open section of pavement will be reduced to improve safety.”

Council President Mike Marchese asked about the Union and Nichols Streets intersections with Ferry Street, and the difficulty in making turns there.

“The angles to the sidewalks are too sharp,” agreed Swanson. “I can say that the radius of the curve is going to become greater, so the sharpness of the turn will be reduced, it will be more gradual.”

Once the project is completed, Everett residents can look forward to brand new roads, safer access, all matching the beautiful parks across the city that have been dramatically enhanced during the years of Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s administration.

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