Norwell: Rebuilding the rest of Route 123

After years of wrangling between state construction guidelines and the desire of residents to maintain the rural character of the town, Norwell gave up on state funding and last year rebuilt the eastern portion of Route 123. Now Norwell’s annual spring town meeting will likely consider spending $1.3 million to repave part of Route 123, Main Street, from the town center to the Hanover town line. The advisory board began consideration of the proposal Thursday night.

Highway Surveyor Paul Foulsham tried to bring together the state’s Department of Transportation and residents of the Scituate end of Main Street. But, after two attempts, the residents refused a sidewalk and the state insisted on one.

“This was our second bite at the apple and it was $200,000 in plans and we were no further along in getting anywhere with funding or approvals,” Foulsham said. “Main Street was showing major deterioration and I just felt I had to jump on that with town funding to make sure that road was safe to travel on.”

Townspeople liked the resulting 1.8 miles of new road.

“People were very receptive to that,” Foulsham said.

Townspeople liked the result so much that they asked Foulsham when he plans to get to the “other half” to the Hanover line. That other half comprises 3.8 miles. So Foulsham has begun the process.

“That would include some drainage improvements,” he nearly hesitated, “and maybe proposing some sidewalks.”

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.