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Brook relocation work slated to start in July in Salem

SALEM — The state is looking to begin work on the relocation of 1,300 feet of North Policy Brook near Haigh Avenue next month.The brook relocation is part of the state’s Department of Transportation wetlands mitigation associated with the I-93 widening project.

During the height of the summer, from approximately the Fourth of July to Labor Day, commuters are expected to see a lot of construction activity on the southbound side of I-93 in Salem, between exit 3 and exit 2.

As part of the mitigation work, selectmen recently approved a sewer use agreement with the state that allows the state to use the town’s stormwater mitigation system as a backup system for the work.

“They are looking to have the stormwater discharge, the water runoff basically, be pumped into the town of Salem’s wastewater system and then have that water delivered to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District,” said Town Manager Keith Hickey.

The state would reimburse the town for the cost of any wastewater handled by the town, according to Hickey.

“Initially, this was going to the primary means of stormwater management,” said I-93 project manager Peter Stamnas. However, because of the capacity of the town’s pumps, Stamnas said the state was not confident those pumps would be adequate, so they are going to use them only as a backup system.

Stamnas said the Haigh Avenue project will use on-site treatment systems as the state has done at other mitigation projects along I-93, with the town system as a backup.

Selectman Stephen Campbell asked how long the project is expected to take. Stamnas said the project will likely take about two to three months, beginning in July and completed by early September.

“This will also create just shy of a a 10-acre feed of flood plain storage at the site,” said Stamnas. “This should really benefit the town and be a good project for everybody.”

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