HAVERHILL — The public will get its first official look later this month at major improvements planned along a nearly two-mile stretch of North Avenue to make it safer, more attractive and easier to navigate for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a public hearing Jan. 25 on the upcoming reconstruction of the busy stretch of North Avenue from Main Street to the Plaistow, N.H. border, Mayor James Fiorentini announced.

The hearing will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 301 at City Hall, 4 Summer St.

The federally and state funded $19 million project is scheduled to begin in spring 2027 and includes road repaving, new sidewalks and bike lanes as well as improved drainage, tree plantings and roadway redesign for improved safety.

A number of intersections will be realigned or reconstructed including North Avenue at Main Street, North Avenue at Marsh Avenue and Tenadel Avenue, North Avenue at Concord Street and Concord Place, and North Avenue at Gile Street and West Gile Street, the mayor said.

The bridge over Snow Brook will be rebuilt to meet safety standards and the adjacent Frye Pond Dam will be removed.

The stretch of North Avenue has become increasingly busy in recent years as drivers try to avoid the even-busier Route 125 at the Haverhill-Plaistow line. Residents in the area have complained about speeding and have pressed city officials to improve traffic safety, the mayor said.

The project was originally planned to begin sooner but has been delayed by the state due to cost overruns and construction delays on other regional, federally funded construction projects.

Fiorentini recently reported that Haverhill was able to leap ahead of other planned transportation projects in the region because the city has already spent $1.2 million, as required to access federal funds, for Benesch Inc. to design the project.

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