Contractor Selected For Lexington/Sycamore Lights Installation

Photo: The intersection of Lexington and Sycamore streets

Nearly two years after a Belmont resident was hit and killed by a van as she walked in the crosswalk at Lexington and Sycamore streets, the Select Board rewarded a contract to make safety improvements to the intersection.

Pine Ridge Technologies of North Reading was the low bidder to remove the speed table and install signal lights at the corners, Glenn Clancy, Belmont’s director of community development told the Select Board at its marathon meeting on Aug. 10.

Sachi Thanawala, 39, of Sycamore Street died on the morning of Aug. 30, 2018, after being hit by a commercial van as she was walking in the crosswalk heading to work.

Estimated at $450,000, Pine Ridge out bid three other firms with a price of $414,003. Clancy added that a supplemental appropriation for $100,000 from State Rep Dave Rogers’ office will reduce the total cost paid by Belmont to $314,000. Most of the cost of the project will go towards the metal computerized controller boxes that house the lights’ “brains” which has a price tag of between $100,000 to $150,000.

“For me the most important feature in the design and ultimately what would be constructed is a dedicated pedestrian crossing phase,” said Clancy. When a pedestrian activates the cross button and traffic stops all traffic from all directions “so there will be no more conflicts during the walk stage which I think is very important.”

The new lights will be designed so it’s interconnected with the intersection at Lexington and Church streets. When traffic releases from there, it’ll proceed up to Sycamore Street where the lights will allow traffic to continue moving with will prevent grid lock during the morning and evening rush.

Clancy thanked the community and the Traffic Advisory Committee for its contribution.

Clancy said work on the intersection will begin in the next couple of weeks and if the late fall and early winter is mild, the job can be completed before the first day of 2021.

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