Ayer Road TIP Project - RESCHEDULED TO APRIL 15

Resources for Harvard's Transportation Improvement Program Project for Ayer Road Reconstruction (Updated 3-23-2020 with revised Alt3 plans)

These pages include the resources for the proposed Ayer Road Reconstruction Project which will repave the road and add a 10' wide multi-use pedestrian/bicycle path. Currently this project is not programmed in the regional TIP but the Town is working diligently to get it programmed as soon as feasible. The design for the project has commenced seeded with the $300,000 allocated by STM in 2019. It is currently at the 10% design phase and will progress to 25%, 75%, and 100% as milestones are met.

The Harvard DPW and Planning Board are co-sponsoring a listening session for the public scheduled for a time to be determined on Wednesday, April 15th on the online platform Zoom. In advance of this meeting, we have received the 10% design plans for public review and there are currently three alternatives under consideration, as with plans linked in the titles below as follows:

Alternative 1 Plans

  • Maintain approximately the existing pavement width of Ayer Road and construct an 8’-10’ shared use path (SUP) with a 3’-5’ buffer on the west side of Ayer Road.  A 10’ SUP/5’ buffer is the typical section, an 8’ SUP/3’ buffer is proposed in locations with critical constraints.
  • Realign Gebo Lane to intersect perpendicular with Ayer Road.
  • Slight realignment of Poor Farm Road to improve sight distance.
  • Close access at Lancaster County Road to/from Ayer Road.
  • The shared use path will run north parallel to Gebo Lane then east along Lancaster County Road to bypass the constraint of the existing bridge.

Alternative 2 Plans

  • Maintain approximately the existing pavement width of Ayer Road and construct an 8’-10’ shared use path (SUP) with a 3’-5’ buffer on the east side of Ayer Road.  A 10’ SUP/5’ buffer is the typical section, an 8’ SUP/3’ buffer is proposed in locations with constraints.
  • At the existing bridge the shared use path would transition into the roadway.  Consider restriping Ayer Road to provide two 10’ lanes, a 2’ shoulder on the west side, and a 5’ bike lane on the east side.
  • Realign Gebo Lane to intersect perpendicular with Ayer Road.
  • Slight realignment of Poor Farm Road to improve sight distance.

Alternative 3 Plans (Updated 3-25-2020)

  • Widen Ayer Road on both sides to provide 11’ travel lanes with 4’ shoulders and a 10’ shared use path with a buffer on the west side of Ayer Road.
  • Realign Gebo Lane to intersect perpendicular with Ayer Road.
  • Slight realignment of Poor Farm Road to improve sight distance.
  • Close access at Lancaster County Road to/from Ayer Road.
  • The shared use path will run north parallel to Gebo Lane then east along Lancaster County Road to bypass the constraint of the existing bridge.

Note that Alternatives 1 & 2 would require more Right-of-Way takings and Alternative 3 would require more full depth box widening.

Roundabout

The reconstruction of Ayer Road has in the past involved discussion of adding a roundabout and the Town had retained a consultant to assess this component. However, as current Town consulting engineer TEC has indicated, the location does not currently meet the requirements for a roundabout and the 10% design does not include one. As TEC states, "A roundabout at this location was suggested in the traffic calming study prepared by Bristol Traffic to improve some of the deficiencies at the intersection of Gebo Lane/Ayer Road/ post office driveway and to slow traffic.  However after further evaluation it was determined that a roundabout did not meet the applicable traffic warrant analysis and would create permanent impacts to conservation restricted land, requiring legislative action."

For more information on this project and the listening session now scheduled for April 15th, please contact, Chris Ryan at cryan@harvard.ma.us