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Design for second phase of work on Salem's Essex Street Pedestrian Mall could receive approval tonight

Posted by Ryan Mooney  November 27, 2012 11:46 AM

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The Salem Redevelopment Authority (SRA) is scheduled to vote on final approval on the second phase of work on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall at its regular meeting tonight, which was rescheduled from November 14.

The full agenda for tonight's meeting can be found here.

The Design Review Board unanimously approved the design in October, under the recommendation that the designers, Boston-based Utile Design and Landworks Studios, shield new light fixtures on the side closest to buildings - to avoid light pollution in residences - and look more closely at the base of the fountain at Washington Street for safety issues.

The designers had proposed to reduce the size of the fountain's base due to safety concerns, as well as to create more space, but some members of the board thought that reducing it might actually increase the tripping hazard to people who don't notice it due to it's drastically reduced size.

At that meeting, Elizabeth Christoforetti, of Utile, said the design for the second phase of work is aimed at "opening up" the mall by improving sight lines and creating more clear lanes of travel, while not changing the integrity of the historic area. Much the same as the first phase of work, which was completed in September.

The second phase of work includes replacing seven unhealthy trees, removing two landscaping beds, removing a kiosk, relocating mailboxes, and removing some cobblestone. Any cobblestone that remains will be replaced.

City officials hope to complete the project by the spring.

The SRA will meet at 6 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at the City Hall Annex, 120 Washington Street.

Ryan Mooney can be reached at globe.mooney@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.

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