Amesbury neighbors want High St. repaved, repaired

·3 min read

Oct. 14—AMESBURY — A group of neighbors are looking to have their street reconstructed and recently submitted a petition asking the city to repave it and repair sidewalks and curbs.

Twenty-two High Street residents are asking the City Council to have their street repaved, as well as fix the sidewalks and curbing from a small bridge just past the Lake Gardner dam, west to Whitehall Road.

The petition states that High Street is often used as a shortcut for motorists coming from New Hampshire to the downtown or Interstate 95. The side street also includes two apartment complexes, three condominium developments and many single-family homes as well as the Lake Gardner parking lot.

High Street resident David Saums signed the petition and spoke to the City Council during a virtual public comment session Tuesday. Saums said fresh pavement was put down on High Street recently but it represents another temporary fix to an ongoing problem.

"The paving that was put down yesterday appears to be yet another Band-Aid and we have all tried to count how many of these coatings have been put down," Saums said. "This is either four or number five."

Saums also brought up concerns about speeding, especially during the morning and evening commutes, and called for a complete reconstruction of the street.

Another High Street resident, Maureen Donahue, told the council of the poor sidewalks on her street.

"We would like to see sidewalks done like on Elm Street and Hillside Avenue," she said. "There's a lot of people walking on our street from town, families walking to get to Lake Gardner Beach, and there is no handicap accessibility for people who want to walk on these sidewalks."

District 1 Councilor Pam Gilday reminded the neighbors that the ongoing, $11.4 million Elm Street reconstruction project is a state job and suggested they bring their concerns to the Traffic Committee.

The city established a 0.75% meals tax in 2013. At-large Councilor Steve Stanganelli said Tuesday that meals tax revenue is designed to go directly toward sidewalk repair but the stabilization fund needed for that to happen was never fully established so the money goes into the city's general fund.

Stanganelli also said the city does not have an arrangement to deal specifically with streets and sidewalks.

"The best that we could do at this stage is to advocate," Stanganelli said. "We can advocate for funds to be put into either the capital improvement plan or some other operating plan. This is very much a capital improvement plan item and we are deficient in lots of deferred maintenance throughout the city."

District 3 Councilor Matt Einson said he expects a traffic study to be performed on High Street soon.

"That would be helpful with any kind of decision-making process," he said.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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