Residents of Forest Street, North Franklin Street and Linwood Road have been complaining to city officials about the impact their small residential neighborhood gets from truck traffic for over a year now, but it seems that the city may finally be close to finding a solution.
According to Interim Public Works Director J.T. Gaucher, over the past few months the city has been able to open a dialogue with Aggregate Industries, which has operations in neighboring Swampscott and Saugus, about the number of truck that have been traveling Lynn’s residential streets between the two Aggregate sites.
“The problem is that these trucks are not Aggregate Industries employees, they are contractors that are travelling between the two sites and they get paid by the ton,” explained Gaucher.
Since the truck drivers get paid by the ton, they look to maximize their number of trips between the plants, by taking the shortest route, which has led to the use of the Forest Street, North Franklin Street and Linwood Road neighborhood.
“Aggregate has been meeting with us to work on a solution. They’ve been very helpful and we’ll be following up with them to decrease the impact on that neighborhood.”
Gaucher explained that the Aggregate gravel pit in Swampscott, provides material to the Aggregate asphalt plant in Saugus. In the past, the city had established an approved truck route for Aggregate drivers, which would avoid the smaller side streets and a cause less harm to residential neighborhoods.
Over the years, and as Aggregate began relying on sub-contracted truckers, the approved routes fell out of use, to the point that most of the trucks traveling between the two Aggregate sites now seem to be traveling the same route through the Forest Street neighborhood.
“The company understands the problem and has agreed that we need to limit the impact of these trucks on the neighborhoods,” said Gaucher. “Beginning in the spring, when these trucks begin running between the two sites again, we’ll look to enforce the approved routes.”
Gaucher noted that Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger was responsible for opening the lines of communication between the city and Aggregate Industries, by reaching out to his fellow chiefs in Swampscott and Saugus to find a contact at the company that was able to re-start the dialogue for Lynn.