Haverhill has been vigorously working on a project encompassing a mile of Water Street (from Mill Street to Riverside Avenue). Named the “Haverhill Water Street Gateway Project”, the project will address major surface transportation needs while creating a gateway entrance along the Water Street corridor that increases pedestrian, bicycle, motorist and commercial traffic access and safety.
“This project is part of plan to modernize and beautify the major gateways into Haverhill and take advantage of our greatest natural asset, the Merrimack River,” said Mayor Jim Fiorentini. The plans include improving roadway drainage, paving and lighting as well as adding new trails and river outlooks.
The design of the Haverhill Water Street Gateway Project will focus on a “Complete Streets” concept that creates a community-connected area for active transportation and pedestrian use, while incorporating appropriate traffic control measures across primary city transportation routes – River Street and Margin Street – to leverage current and future economic development opportunities. The project area also qualifies under federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, with 50% of households at or below 80% of local per capita median income.
The overall proposal to improve Water Street to provide new river outlooks and trails, bike lanes, and open the Merrimack River for better viewing will result in a comprehensive approach to modernize and beautify the major gateways into Haverhill and take advantage of the city’s greatest natural asset, the Merrimack River. Funding will also include improvements to roadway drainage and pavement, lighting and streetscape amenities, and improvements to the busy signalized intersection at Mill Street, while investments in River Street and Margin Street will more thoroughly connect residents and businesses throughout the downtown area.
The project will include, but is not limited to, an ADA compliant sidewalk and bike accommodations along both sides, improvements to roadway drainage and pavement, possible lighting and streetscape amenities. In addition, improvements to the signalized intersection at the westerly project limit at Mill Street are to be part of the project. The roadway improvements will better serve the local community and residents along Water Street for years to come.
Mayor Fiorentini plans to apply for new funds recently allocated by the Biden administration that makes $1.5 billion available for this year’s RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity) grants. These funds are earmarked for transportation projects. Prior to completing the grant, the Mayor and the City’s Chief Engineer, John Pettis, are meeting with residents and stakeholders to discuss their opinions, input and questions. The first meeting was held recently – Jan. 16 - at the St. John the Baptist Church. Other meetings will follow prior to the Feb. 28 RAISE grant application deadline.
RAISE Grants link: https://www.transportation.gov/RAISEgrants/about
RAISE Grant Solicitation link: https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/2023-01/RAISE%202023%20NOFO%20Amendment%201_0.pdf