Lynn Awarded $1.6 Million State Grant To 'Rebuild' Washington Street Corridor


January 15, 2019
By Gayla Cawley/The Daily Item

The city has been awarded a $1.6 million state grant, which will be used for roadway improvements to support development along the Washington Street corridor.

The corridor is an important one in the city. But its crumbling sidewalks and inadequate parking cannot support completed development, such as the 71-unit Gateway North project, or smaller planned developments, such as condominiums at the former Smuggler’s Cove, or apartments at the former Fran’s Place, said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. 

“(The Lower Washington Street area) is in rough shape right now, so (the grant) allows us to take a place where there’s been substantial investment that has happened to date and will continue to happen and will get it to be able to handle continued investment,” McGee said. 

“Its proximity to the commuter rail, the downtown, our waterfront and Route 1 access to Boston makes this infrastructure improvement all the more vital to what we are seeking to accomplish,” he said, referencing the city’s vision for its waterfront.


Left to right: State Rep. Peter Capano, Gov. Charlie Baker, EDIC executive director James M. Cowdell, state Sen. Brendan Crighton, state Rep. Daniel Cahill, (in front) Mayor Thomas M. McGee, Community Development Director James Marsh, Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, City Council Administrative Assistant Theresa Young, City Clerk Janet Rowe attended Monday's grant announcement at City Hall. (Courtesy photo)

Gov. Charlie Baker, McGee, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and state legislators were on hand to announce the MassWorks infrastructure grant at City Hall Monday morning. 

Administered through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the grant will be used to fund a “complete rebuild” of about a quarter mile stretch of roadway on Washington Street, which is located across from North Shore Community College and is a short walk to the downtown and MBTA commuter rail, McGee said. The stretch also connects to the Lynnway and the city’s waterfront. 

Road reconstruction will be aimed at easing traffic and making the busy corridor safer and more accessible for pedestrians. For instance, the road will be paved, sidewalk bump-outs will be constructed, bicycle lanes will be added and 19 more on-street parking spaces will be created. Eighty-nine total parking spaces will be identified and clearly marked in the area, according to an EOHED spokesman. 

Construction will take place along Washington Street from the Lynnway up to and including its intersection with Broad Street (Route 1A). Portions of Amity Street, Farrar Street, Suffolk Street and Sagamore Street will also be paved, according to the EOHED. 

“With a growing population in the area and development (on) the way, we need to update the infrastructure and make sure it’s as safe as possible,” said state Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn). “We see this as a benefit for the college, as well as potential development.” 

Monday’s announcement is the latest in MassWorks grant funding the city has been awarded. Other grants have been used for roadway improvements to support the YMCA and Market Basket projects, and the planned luxury apartment development at North Harbor, more commonly known as the former Beacon Chevrolet site, McGee said. 

“We have been proud to support Lynn’s revitalization efforts in previous MassWorks rounds, and we are pleased to once again partner with the city to produce housing, foster retail development, and further connect its business and cultural developments with its waterfront,” Baker said in a statement. 

The Baker administration plans to award more than $72 million worth of MassWorks grants to 36 municipalities this year to support “shovel-ready” projects that will have a “high impact” in their respective communities, according to an EOHED spokesman. 

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