Shrewsbury seeks federal funding for Route 20 safety improvements

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Photo by/Tami White

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

SHREWSBURY – Town Manager Kevin Mizikar and the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen spent part of their April 27 meeting reviewing a letter they would send to U.S. Congressman James McGovern (D-MA 02) seeking $15.4 million in federal funding for improvements on Route 20 from South Street to the Northborough town line. 

The request comes two weeks after Mizikar suggested Selectmen formally ask the state to ban left turns from South Street onto Route 20 due to safety concerns. That, in turn, came less than a month after a school bus accident at the nearby intersection of Avalon Way and Route 20 drew renewed public attention to an issue state and local politicians say they’ve been working to solve for years. 

“In the areas where we have had some recent traffic accidents and have long been a part of the Route 20 Master Plan, we are seeking federal funding to make these improvements as soon as possible,” Mizikar said April 27.

Board Chair Beth Casavant noted that State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) had submitted a letter in support of this request.

 “Congressman McGovern has shown a steadfast commitment to supporting initiatives and projects identified by local leaders on behalf of the communities they represent,” Kane told the Community Advocate when recently asked for comment. “I reached out to express my strong support for the town of Shrewsbury’s request for $15.4 million in federal funding for traffic and safety improvements on Route 20.”

Kane has offered to coordinate briefings for the Congressman with Shrewsbury officials and MassDOT District 3 staff to provide him with an in-depth overview of this local priority project. 

The Board unanimously agreed, without discussion, to authorize Mizikar to forward the letter to the Congressman.