West Lynn Comes Full Circle


June 7, 2017
Thomas Grillo/The Daily Item

David Ackerman has been watching construction at the convergence of Western AvenueFederal, and South Common streets for weeks and wondering what lies ahead.

“I don’t know what to make of it,” said the 71-year-old retiree.

“I was so used to the other way.”

By the end of June, the congested, and some say unsafe intersection near Market Square in front of the new Market Basket will be transformed.

The traffic lights are gone, a rotary has been built and the two lane road has been reduced to one.

“The old way was dangerous, that’s for sure,” said Ackerman. “Construction workers tell me this will be a lot safer for the simple reason the traffic is narrowed to one lane and it will slow cars naturally.”


Cars drive around the new rotary in West Lynn

Traffic makes its way around the new rotary.

James Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development & Industrial Corp. (EDIC), the city’s development bank, said the $2 million infrastructure project is being fully paid for by DeMoulas Super Markets Inc., the Tewksbury-based chain store.

Originally, the city was in line for a $2 million MassWorks grant to provide road, sidewalk and traffic signal improvements on Western Avenue and Federal and Boston streets to make the former General Electric ‘Factory of the Future’ site more accessible for supermarket customers.

But the deal with the state fell through and DeMoulas stepped up for fill the void, Cowdell said.

“The rotary is operational and almost universally people are reporting that it’s much quicker than the lights,” he said. “Once construction ends in two weeks, traffic will be even quicker than it is today. We are very happy with the result.”

In addition, he said DeMoulas has also pledged $1 million on landscaping in and around the new market.

Scheduled to open in August, the $30 million project will give the popular retail grocery chain a Lynn presence and provide 400 jobs, with hiring preference for Lynn residents.

“It will look really nice when it’s done,” said Cowdell. “We’ve been working on this for four years and now we are weeks away from opening.”

Former Ward 7 City Councilor and councilor-at-large candidate Rick Ford and co-owner of the Little River Inn, the popular diner on Boston Street, said so far, customers have been saying good things about the new traffic pattern.

“People are saying it’s messed up there now, but the changes should help to fix the traffic jams,” he said.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

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