“Anytime we can have a private dollar to leverage a public dollar, we can have a partnership that’s truly worth celebrating,” said Polito, during an event on campus Nov. 3.
Polito’s comments were echoed by state Rep. Diana DiZoglio, D-North Andover, who joined the lieutenant governor, President Christopher Hopey, North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor and other area legislators in a briefing about the next phase of the project: the design and construction of the sidewalk.
“Without our local officials working together with the state delegation and the administration, across party lines, this project could not have happened,” DiZoglio said.
Pedestrians will be able to walk from the campus entrance at Elm Street to the corner of Bertucci’s at Route 125/114, along Merrimack’s campus, up to the new crosswalk and around to the Rogers Center for the Arts parking lot. On the opposite side, a new sidewalk starting at Berkeley Street will traverse the front of Royal Crest Estates, and end at the office building at 510 Turnpike St.
In addition, the project includes new campus lighting and fencing, resurfacing of Route 114 and associated curbing and drainage.
The project is under review by the North Andover Conservation Commission, and is planned to be constructed in spring.
The project is notable because the state and Merrimack pledged $1 million each to create the crossing and sidewalk on the state road.
“This is a model for public-private partnerships. We are proud to be part of such a historic initiative, said Hopey, who led officials on a walk across Route 114 via the crosswalk.
Several hundred Merrimack students live in the Royal Crest apartment complex, the bulk of them in units leased and overseen by the college.
Polito said the project represents “an extension of (Merrimack’s) success.”