The Eagle-Tribune is reporting today that the Andover Board of Selectmen has approved the alternative design for a new interchange off Interstate 93 into Lowell Junction. This allows plans for the project to move forward.
There has long been a concern that federal officials would not give their needed approval since the alternate design includes direct access to the east side of the highway into the industrial district of Ballardvale and also for development on the west side of the highway but has a series of new roads that do not connect to South Street in Tewksbury. Tewksbury officials have long held a connection would adversely affect the residents who live on that street. An emergency access to South Street is – however- included in the design.
Locals will remember that Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHoude – who visited the Merrimack Valley a few month ago at the request of 5th District Congresswoman Niki Tsonagas – agreed that he would support the alternative design without a connection to South Street if the three towns all agree on the same design. That agreement has been reached.
“I think it is critically important for the town in terms of job growth, commercial tax revenue growth, and for helping to reduce traffic congestion in Ballardvale,” said state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover. “So I applaud the selectmen for their support.”
Read the full story here in the Eagle-Tribune.