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Blasting at Rte 1 Site in Peabody May Affect Traffic for Next 2 Weeks

Work crews are clearing ledge from the site of a new state-of-the-art recycling facility on the northbound side of Route 1 in Peabody.

Motorists on Route 1 North should be prepared to stop after passing through the lights at the jughandle in Peabody. Credit: John Castelluccio
Motorists on Route 1 North should be prepared to stop after passing through the lights at the jughandle in Peabody. Credit: John Castelluccio
Motorists on Route 1 North should be prepared to stop after passing through the lights at the jughandle in Peabody.

Blasting is scheduled at a commercial development site at 109 Newbury St. Monday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and may continue over the next two weeks. The blasting is to clear ledge at the site of what will become a new recycling facility for JRM.

The work is permitted by the Peabody Fire Department and the Mass. Department of Transportation is involved for any blasts within 250 feet of the highway, according to Peabody Fire Inspector Chris Dowling.

Dowling said there's a possibility state police will shut down the highway during blasting. He noted activity first started a couple weeks ago, but those blasts were further than 250 feet from the highway.

JRM, which provides trash and recycling services to numerous cities and towns from its headquarters located further down Route 1, purchased the property in 2010 with the intent of building a state-of-the-art recycling center there, but abutters had different ideas.

The site used to be home to the Carriage House Motel, a local hotspot of drug activity and prostitution, which was forced to shut its doors in 2008 by the city after numerous health, safety and building code violations were uncovered.

SKM LLC of North Reading, owners of a Dunkin' Donuts located next door, sued JRM and the city, claiming a recycling center would devalue neighboring property and the city bent zoning laws to make way for the new structure.

JRM still razed the former motel and cleaned the site last year, but couldn't begin construction on the facility until the court battle was resolved.

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