Norwell: Unfinished Rt.123 project may stay unfinished; new salt shed requested

With roadwork completed at the lower part of Main Street in Norwell, Highway Surveyor Paul Foulsham is asking for another million dollars to finish off the job.

Thursday night, he talked to the Advisory Board about an article submitted to resurface Route 123 from Norwell Center to the Hanover line.

Foulsham explained the road has exceeded its 30-year expectancy and needs to match the quality of its new half, “That roadway gets upwards of, I believe, 12,000 vehicles a day. So once you get to that point, the water is not flowing, the drainage isn’t working, the standing water is doing damage to the road, the age of that asphalt, it all adds up to the road failing.”

Chair of Norwell Advisory, Tim Greene, said an article requesting $1.3 million is not realistic and won’t pass at town meeting. But Foulsham explained MassDOT isn’t a viable funding resource either.

Foulsham also submitted another article requesting  $400,000 for a salt shed. According to Foulsham, the current 40-year old shed doesn’t allow trucks to dump salt directly into but rather the salt’s placed on the ground and then transferred.

“The residual salt that is out in the parking lot, if we can’t get to sweep it up or clean it up you know immediately and we get snow and rain and so forth, it leaches down into the wetland area and gets into our water supply,” said Foulsham

The Norwell Advisory Board agreed the shed must be replaced. However Chair Greene stated he felt uncomfortable paying for it out of free cash. But Foulsham noted the $69,000 dollars left in the snow budget could ease the cost, “We could use it for any amount of things related to the snow so we’re just going to have to work out what we want to do.”

Norwell Advisory did not take a vote of recommendation on the article for a salt shed or the article to reconstruct the upper part of Main Street. Chair Greene said they’ll be looking for ways to fund a new salt shed in the upcoming weeks.

Norwell’s annual town meeting is May 7th.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.