By Carol Britton Meyer
Plans for major improvements to the busy Route 3A corridor along Hingham's harborfront focus on public safety.
Benefits to pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists include a shared-use path with a buffer along the waterfront and a permanent "road diet" from Martins Lane to the Hingham Rotary that will reduce the number of traffic lanes from two to one in both directions along this dangerous stretch.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation recently held a public Zoom hearing about the project, now at the 25 percent design stage.
The overall plan includes safety and related improvements along Route 3A, Summer Street and Rockland Street from the intersection of Otis Street and Broad Cove Road south near the Hingham Lobster Pound and east to the intersection of George Washington Boulevard and Rockland Street, including the Hingham Rotary.
The planned modifications are also geared toward enhancing the recreational, educational, and commercial opportunities in this area.
Hingham's share of the project will be about $819,000 for engineering and construction design costs. MassDOT estimates the actual construction cost at $15.3 million, which will be paid for with state and federal funds -- a great deal for the town, according to Rte. 3A Task Force Chair Judy Sneath.
The project is expected to be shovel-ready in 2024, but when the work actually begins depends on the state's Transportation Improvement Program schedule.