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March 26. 2013 9:47PM

South Shore Road residents in Salem say path to repairs is too long

SALEM - Michael Pucci has lived on South Shore Road for more than three decades, and over the years he and his neighbors have watched the road slowly disintegrate.

With another rainy spring season ahead, Pucci said the road needs some serious help - and soon. Unfortunately for Pucci and his neighbors, South Shore Road isn't scheduled for upkeep in the town's roadway program until 2020.

During Monday night's Board of Selectmen's meeting, Pucci pleaded with the town to reconsider the current road repair plans.

"Over the years, I've watched this road deteriorate almost to gravel," he told the board. "Is there any way we can move a redo to a more current time frame?"

According to South Shore Road residents, the road was last overlaid about a dozen years ago.

"There are portions that when it rains you can't even see the road, and outside my driveway I have a six-inch depth by my mailbox," Pucci said.

According to Pucci, the situation has gotten so bad that it actually presents a safety issue since the crumbling, narrowing roadway is no longer wide enough for two passing cars to drive through.

Selectman Michael Lyons thanked Pucci for coming forward and vowed to take the issue under advisement.

"I appreciate your input, especially this time of the year," said Lyons. "Usually we tend to get the most input later in the spring, when the bulldozers are already in the ground."

Chairman Everett McBride said he's well aware of the problems on South Shore Road, noting that it's a pretty common occurrence for residents to approach him at the grocery store.

"Are there any funds available to help these folks?" he asked Town Manager Keith Hickey.

Hickey reminded selectmen that the town's roadway program had been reduced significantly in recent years.

"If there's any leftover money this year we can consider it, but at this point the 2013 road program doesn't include South Shore Road," Hickey said.

aguilmet@newstote.com


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