What Caused the Huge Traffic Backup on Rt. 97?

Here's an explanation for why traffic was backed up more than a mile on oute 97 in Wenham earlier this week.

Traffic backed up on Route 97 for nearly a mile and a half on Monday morning - congestion that was worse than is typically seen in Wenham.

At its worst, southbound traffic backed up along Route 97 from the traffic lights at Conant Steet in North Beverly to the intersection of Route 97 (Topsfield Road) and Burnham Road and Cedar Street in West Wenham at about 8:30 a.m.

On Hamilton-Wenham Patch's Facebook page, one user said it took her about 15 minutes to get from Burnham Road in Wenham to L.P. Henderson Road that leads to Beverly Airport.

Michael Collins, the Commissioner of Public Services and Engineering in Beverly, said a section of Conant Street between Cabot and Dodge streets was closed on Monday.

"That was one day of work by the contractor building the Walgreens," Collins said, referring to the new drug store planned for the corner of Conant Street and Route 1A. Because of the work, that involved digging in the road, Conant Street was closed for eastbound traffic.

And the residual detour caused the backup well into Wenham. It rivaled backups on Route 1A during Wenham Day or during last month's election during voting at Wenham Town Hall. But even on most mornings, traffic backs up from the traffic light to the aiport road, Collins said, and that lasts for about a half hour.

Brian Dapice December 24, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Not 100% accurate. What wasn't mentioned is the Beverly DPW was also doing tree work in response to the hurricane also that morning. They were on the Cabot Street side of the fire station and continued to work toward Raymond Farms, all during the morning rush toward the Cummings Center.


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