Planning has begun for a major makeover of Route 97/Broadway from the Target shopping plaza on Computer Drive to Silver Birch Lane about two miles away.

The project, financed with state and federal money, is to include repaving the roadway, redesigning two intersections and adding sidewalks and trees.

The stretch, which is near the high school in the city's northwest section, is considered a gateway to Haverhill from New Hampshire.

Engineering work on the project began in September and a public informational meeting is planned for Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in City Hall, Room 301, to review a preliminary design map, Mayor James Fiorentini said.

The state and federal government are sharing the cost of the $5.7 million project. Haverhill is contributing $463,100 to design the work, which the mayor has said is expected to begin sometime in 2017. 

The upgrade, which in on the state's Transportation Improvement Project list, is similar to the recently completed renovation of a two-mile stretch of Route 125 from the Basiliere Bridge to Boston Road near the North Andover line.

The mayor said the state project is designed to do for the upper Broadway area what the Route 125 project did for Bradford, when the state repaved that roadway and added sidewalks, trees and traffic signals.

"There are very few areas on the street with sidewalks and not many trees," the mayor said of that stretch of Broadway. "As one of our many gateway entrances into the city, this project will add enhancements to the area that will welcome residents and visitors into our city."

The northern end of the project near Silver Birch Lane is about 2.5 miles from Salem, N.H.

"Beautification of our neighborhoods is a priority and this mostly federal- and state-funded project will add to the quality of life for our residents," Fiorentini said.

The city has posted a concept plan and map of the proposed Broadway redesign on its website at www.ci.haverhill.ma.us. The information and map can be found under the heading "latest news."

The website also invites anyone with questions about the project to the call the city's Engineering Department at 978-374-2335.

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