Work begins on ‘deadly’ Highway 114 Peabody Stretch repair plans

PEABODY, MA — When dozens of local officials and anguished family members of those killed or injured on Route 114 in Peabody over the past two decades gathered for a town hall meeting in December, there was a demand for finally do something on the perilous stretch of road before more lives are lost.

The hope was that the emotional reunion would be the first step towards meaningful improvements.

This week, another small step was taken on this hopeful path as the state Department of Transportation set out a schedule for a comprehensive traffic safety audit and presentation of its findings over the next few months. month.

State Department of Transportation District 4 Highway Director Paul Stedman, who called the December forum a “significant start” for the highway revamp, sent a letter to state officials on Wednesday. from North Shore outlining the RSA timeline and how it will be used to determine next steps.

In his letterStedman said the newly collected crash data will be used to populate the RSA, which will then be presented at a road safety meeting “to review and discuss existing safety issues and allow team members to share their knowledge and personal experiences on the corridor”.

Stedman said the RSA will culminate in a detailed report documenting the review process and “identifying potential improvements and security measures.”

“Proud to share this update and looking forward to seeing positive changes on this road,” says State Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) published with the Mass DOT roadmap on its social networks account Thursday. “(Thank you) to the residents, local authorities and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for making safety a priority.”

Rachel Dellacroce, whose 18-year-old son Nicholas was struck and killed while riding his motorcycle by a driver trying to cross the five lanes of Highway 114 seven months ago, said at the meeting December that there had been 16 fatal accidents, 1,627 non-fatal accidents and 3,260 property accidents totaling more than 5,400 total accidents on the Peabody section of the causeway over the previous 19 years.

“I lost my son because of the lack of safety on this road,” she said that evening. “If there was a middle strip instead of the dangerous suicide lane (turning in the middle), I would still have two children.

“And I’ll keep saying that probably until the day I’m gone.”

Lovely, State Rep. Sally Kerans (D-Danvers) and State Rep. Thomas Walsh (D-Peabody) followed up the meeting by sending Stedman a letter requesting details on next steps for road improvements. .

Stedman said in December that there may be mitigation measures that could be implemented in the short term, but admitted that a road reconstruction will take many years.

(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)

Maria D. Ervin