State comes up with $1 million to redesign Morton/Gallivan intersection

Issues surrounding what many claim is one of the most dangerous intersections in Dorchester may soon be resolved after it was announced this week that nearly $1 million in state funding is being designated to redesign streets in Dorchester and Milton.

Part of that allocation includes $750,000 to redesign the Morton Street and Gallivan Boulevard intersection.

Working with Governor Deval Patrick, Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry was able to secure the funding. "I want to thank [the governor] for recognizing the need to put money into this intersection and making it a reality," Forry said. Senator Jack Hart has also has been a partner in identifying this location as needing a major reconfiguration.

"An issue that I heard again and again during community meetings was the importance of addressing this dangerous intersection, which can be confusing to motorists," Forry added. "This redesign has been a priority and is long overdue."

Said Hart: "I am pleased that the $750,000 allocated in the 2008 Transportation Bond Bill was recently released to make much needed improvements at the Gallivan Boulevard and Morton Street intersection. This intersection has plagued my constituency for many years. I will continue to work to secure money for improvements such as these in fiscal year 2011."

Community groups such as the Morton Street Board of Commerce have advocated for improvements to the intersection. "That is good news that the funding is there," said Danny Hardaway, president of the Morton Street Board of Commerce. "That is a dangerous intersection. You have to drive as if it's the Indianapolis 500 to get out there. There have been many accidents and near-accidents there."

At the intersection, traffic converges from several directions and it's confusing for drivers, he said. The blinking light does not slow traffic down, he added. "When you'e on Morton Street and stopped at the stop sign near the fire station, some people don't stop and they race out to get across Morton Street," Hardaway said. "Also you have to be mindful of traffic coming from Gallivan Boulevard that is trying to get onto Morton Street and traffic from the other direction of Morton trying to swing over to Gallivan Boulevard."

Forry hopes the funding will cover not only the redesign, but also the implementation of improvements to the intersection. "My goal is to implement the changes and make this happen as soon as possible," she said.

The announcement also included an additional $212,500 grant to improve Eliot Street in Milton. Although heavily traveled by both cars and pedestrians, only two-thirds of the roadway has curbing. The funding will be used to improve signage, crosswalks, and add new curbing on the remainder of Eliot Street, Forry noted in the announcement. The street is densely-populated and there are three trolley stops in the area.

The improvement project will begin at the intersection of Central Avenue and Eliot Street and will extend westerly to the intersection of Eliot Street, Valley Road, and Avalon Road. "There are a lot of families there and there is a lot of speeding," Forry said. "These are critical improvements if we are going to slow traffic down on that street."

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