With Contracts Signed, Work on the North/Chelmsford Road Intersection Starts May 1

Construction of the long-awaited realignment of the North Road-Chelmsford Road intersection is expected to begin by May 1.

The initial progress may be modest, and the work could extend until the end of 2023, as supply patterns indicate that there could be some delays.

But the project is ready to launch. The Select Board signed an agreement with the contractor Monday, and Thursday Department of Public Works officials are scheduled to hold a pre-construction meeting.

North and Chelmsford has been motorists’ most challenging local corner for decades. The project will redesign the intersecting streets and add a traffic signal to ensure safer passage. Other features are a sidewalk from Sweetwater Avenue to the Billerica line on Chelmsford Road, and a bicycle lane.

DPW Director David Manugian shared a piece of good news with the Select Board Monday. He said a massive tree at 21 Chelmsford Road, originally targeted for removal, will be saved, as the property owner has agreed to a meandering sidewalk at that location.

That tree was one of three identified by the Bedford Arbor Resources Committee as likely more than 200 years old. A huge tree at 324 North Road is also going to remain.

The construction contract with J. Tropeano Inc. of North Andover is for $3,449,917.53. The Select Board also signed an agreement with Green International of Tewksbury, engineering consultant for the job, for $166,950.70.

“Timelines are something we need to look at for a number of reasons, including current market conditions. We will be adjusting contract format to actual conditions,” Manugian said.

There was an add-alternate proposal to pave Old North Road, a short crescent-shaped street that runs behind the H.A. Zwicker store. Jeanette Rebecchi, the DPW’s transportation program manager, told the select Board that it was determined “our Highway Division can do it more cost-effectively as part of the normal operating budget.”

In answer to a question from board member Shawn Hanegan, Manugian said the contractor is required to make sure that the roads are “in condition for safe use throughout the winter.”

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763

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