WOBURN – The City Council recently empowered Mayor Scott Galvin to accept an easement for traffic mitigation in East Woburn by Washington, Salem, and Cedar Streets.
At the outset of their most recent meeting in City Hall, the aldermen unanimously agreed that Galvin, on the city’s behalf, should be able to accept a donation of a small sliver of land by the 87-unit Benchmark senior living facility in East Woburn.
“The Benchmark [easement] is part of the mitigation. All we have to do is accept it,” said Ward 2 Alderman Richard Gately this week.
Opening in 2016, the assisted living and memory care building was erected on triangular-shaped parcel bordered by Washington, Cedar and Salem Streets. As part of its mitigation package, the petitioner back in 2014 promised the City Council that it would reconfigure the end of Salem Street, right by its nexus with Cedar Street, where motorists struggled with line-of-sight issues.
Before the reconfiguration, motorists had to slowly inch forward from Salem Street, especially when turning left to continue along Salem Street, in order to see oncoming motorists.
The old alignment made it most difficult to see cars heading on Cedar Street towards Salem Street from the vicinity of Washington Street. In being forced to slowly crawl forward into the intersection, drivers often found themselves blocking the path of vehicles heading down Salem Street towards Washington Street.
Benchmark, besides also installing the city’s first “smart” adaptive traffic signals by Washington and Salem Street, also promised to grant an easement along Washington Street to facilitate any future initiative involving the widening of the busy thoroughfare.
The council was late last month notified of the outstanding Benchmark mitigation item in a letter from City Solicitor Ellen Callahan-Doucette. In that same correspondence, the city lawyer also asked the aldermen to sanction an unrelated easement request involving the BrickYard Restaurant property on Main Street in Woburn Center.
Because that second easement has not yet been the subject of council deliberations, that easement plan was referred to a second reading later this month.
According to the city solicitor, local officials recently discovered The BrickYard Restaurant building, situated off Main Street by Marlowe Park, encroaches by just inches onto the city-owned sidewalk by the Walnut Street parking lot.
The encroachment issue was discovered as the Leo family is expanding its restaurant into the former Moore & Parker property at 375 Main Street.
Under the development, which resulted in the demolition of the historic Moore & Parker building, a new banquet hall is being built in the basement level of the new multi-story building. A large retail suite will sit on the ground-level of the structure facing Main Street, while the second and third floors will feature residential apartments.