NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Clarification regarding Kenoza Street construction

road closed

In the Oct. 7 issue, The Observer ran a News Byte stating that the “Kenoza Street entrance will be closed indefinitely.” This headline was confusing and misleading. Later that day, NECC Facilities Management sent an email stating, in part, that “The Kenoza Street entrance to the college will remain closed indefinitely.” This is incorrect. The entrance to Kenoza Street was closed from the Amesbury Road end, but the entrance to the college itself has not been affected at either the Technology Center parking lot, or the C Building lot entrances. The Observer takes responsibility for printing the misleading information that likely led to this mistake. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the confusion and felt that it merited clarification.

On Monday, Oct. 5, Kenoza Street was closed to traffic entering from Amesbury Road at the west, or northwest, end. A police officer was on duty ensuring that vehicles did not enter from that end and also detouring traffic coming from the southeast end around the utility crew that was working there. This was not the first day the road had been closed there. Several days the week before, students complained that it took several extra minutes to get to school due to the detour, and expressed curiosity about how long it would continue, prompting me to ask the officer on duty that day for information. The officer, whose name was not obtained, stated that the utility crew is scheduled to be on this job “indefinitely.” He explained that the crew will not rush, as they are working on a gas main, and that the work will continue “all the way down the street,” indicating that students should expect delays to continue.

While the road was closed for a few more days that week, the crew disappeared shortly afterwards, taking their detour with them. A large metal plate on the road, a few pieces of pipe and half a dozen orange cones were the only evidence left of the crew nearly two weeks.

Seeking clarification of what students should expect in the coming weeks, Observer staff contacted John Pettis, head of Haverhill DPW’s engineering department. In a telephone interview, Pettis stated that he contacted National Grid on our behalf and was told that they are replacing a regulator pit and approximately 40 – 50 feet of pipe. Crews were delayed while waiting for a part to be delivered but they were back on duty on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and the replacement part was expected to be delivered and installed on Friday, Oct. 23. National Grid was expected to continue working for two to three weeks from that date, with an additional week of road work to follow, meaning that the work will continue through the first half of November. The college entrances will not be affected, but traffic at this end of Kenoza Street will be delayed or diverted periodically during this time. Commuters who take this route should leave themselves extra time.

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