A $15.3 million improvement project that would encompass a stretch along the Route 3A, Hingham Rotary, and Summer Street corridor would benefit residents of Hull, Hingham, and Cohasset, supporters say.
The project, which has been in the development stage for more than a decade, would include new sidewalks, a 10-foot shared-use path with a buffer along the waterfront, a safer modern roundabout replacing the current rotary, and updated traffic signals – all geared toward making the harborside safer and more pedestrian-, bicyclist-, and motorist-friendly.
The bounds of the project are from the intersection of Otis Street and Broad Cove Road in Hingham to the intersection of George Washington Boulevard and Rockland Street.
An earlier proposal to narrow the four-lane roadway from Muzzi’s Corner to the Hingham Rotary to one travel lane in each direction – a plan some Hull residents objected to – is no longer part of the design scheme.
Instead, improvements call for a permanent “road diet” on Summer Street between Martins Lane and the Rotary, involving the elimination of one lane in each direction along that stretch.
A pilot “road diet,” deemed a success by town officials in Hull and Hingham during public meetings (with some changes), was implemented from May 20-July 26, 2018, in a cooperative effort among Hull, Hingham, and Cohasset town officials due to speeding issues and the high volume of accidents that posed serious safety concerns in that area.
Most of the costs would be paid with state and federal dollars, with Hingham covering the design costs. This year’s Hingham town meeting will be asked to appropriate $200,000 to pay for the remaining design engineering work through construction, in addition to earlier-approved funding for this purpose, totaling $819,000 for Hingham’s share.
The project, which is now on the state Transportation Improvement Program priority list, is scheduled for construction in 2025, contingent on an affirmative Hingham town meeting vote to cover the remaining design expenses. Rep. Joan Meschino, of Hull, and Sen. Patrick O’Connor, of Hingham, assisted the latter town in securing state funding.
The design plan also includes a westbound turning lane at the Summer and North Street intersection and other intersection improvements, upgraded pedestrian walkways on both sides of the roadway where possible, and landscaping.
Project engineers from Design Consultants Inc. have been working closely with Hingham’s town engineer, J.R. Frey, the Hingham Route 3A Task Force, and public safety representatives from Hull, Hingham, and Cohasset to move the project through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation design approval process.
“This is a remarkable investment of mostly federal transportation dollars,” Judith Sneath, chairwoman of the Hingham Rte. 3A Task Force, said recently.
She went on to explain that Hingham would need to commit to the full design and related funding before the project could move forward.