Bob and Barbara Turpel’s cedar-shingled house has sat proudly along Bedford Street, also known as Route 18, since 1822.
Like some of their neighbors, the Turpels now worry about how their home will survive a proposed $37.6 million expansion of the roadway, from two lanes to four. The state Department of Transportation is planning to widen 4.1 miles of Route 18 from Highland Place in Weymouth, near Route 3, to Route 139 in Abington.
Pictured: Bob and Barbara Turpel at their Abbington home on July 2 Next
Michael Verseckes, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the widening project is meant to improve safety and reduce congestion along Route 18. He said there are 215 parcels of land that may be affected. Title searches will be conducted and owners will probably be notified next spring, with bids for the project going out in the summer or fall of 2015, he said.
Pictured: Map of Route 18 widening project Next
The Turpels’ front door is now just 25 feet from the street, and only one tree remains between the house and the pavement. There are the daily annoyances of litter blowing onto their property and the challenge of trying to get in and out of the driveway, especially in the afternoon.
The Turpels do not know how much of their property they will lose to the road widening. They also wonder about problems during the expected two to three years of construction.
“It’s chaotic to think about it,” said Bob Turpel.
Pictured: A sign outside of the Turpel home in Abbington Next
Included in the project are replacement of the bridge that carries Route 18 over the railroad tracks near Barbara Lane and Thomas Road in Weymouth and the reconstruction of the intersection at Pond Street (Route 58) and the east-west parkway to the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station.
The parkway is being redeveloped as SouthField and is partially the impetus for the widening.
The bridge work will require building a temporary bridge and the taking of a stoneworks business nearby, Verseckes said.
Pictured: Bob and Barbara Turpel talk to contractor Josh MacLenna. Next
Abington Fire Chief John Nuttall said if any land is taken in front of the town’s main fire station and headquarters, he may not have enough room to park the ladder truck outside the station, which is necessary for cleaning and maintenance. Like others, firefighters face the challenge of getting on and off Route 18, though they do have the advantage of lights and sirens.
Pictured: The Abington Fire house on rt 18. Next
Michael Costa, general manager of the Abington Ale House & Grille said all three of the establishment’s signs along the road will have to be moved, along with the sprinkler system and the flagpole. He hopes that people do not avoid Route 18 during the construction and that it will be better for customers getting in and out of his parking lot once the widening is complete.
Pictured: Shane Majenski with the Abington Ale House maintenance department weeded the flower beds in front of the building on Route 18. Next
“It’s important to happen for economic development reasons and for existing traffic burden,” said Bill Ryan, spokesman for LNR Property LLC, SouthField’s developer.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2018.
Pictured: Looking south on Route 18 in front of the Abington Ale House Back to the beginning
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