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Everett casino developer proposes traffic plan

EVERETT — Santilli Circle, one of the most congested rotaries in Greater Boston, would be replaced with a flyover from Route 16 as part of a multimillion-dollar traffic plan being developed for “Wynn Everett,” a $1 billion resort casino proposed for a 30-acre industrial site on the Mystic River.

The flyover, or overpass road, was the most dramatic change to state and local roads presented Tuesday night at a community meeting held by the city and the traffic consultant for Wynn Resorts of Las Vegas.

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“This is the key area we looked at,” said Jeffrey Dirk, a principal with Vanesse & Associates, the Andover-based traffic consultant hired by Wynn to develop a traffic plan.

Hundreds of Everett residents packed the Edward G. Connolly Center for the meeting, which lasted slightly more than two hours.

It was the first community meeting held since Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. last month announced a community host agreement that would require Wynn to pay $35 million to $40 million in annual real estate taxes and other revenues to Everett.

Everett voters will hold a referendum on June 22 on whether the city should host the casino.

One resident urged DeMaria to delay the vote until November, in part to allow residents more time to learn about traffic.

“It’s only a handful of months later,” said Scott Matson.

But the idea was poorly received by residents, some of whom booed the suggestion. Other residents peppered the consultants about the impact of traffic flow on local roads and businesses.

DeMaria acknowledged their concerns.

“Traffic is the number one issue,” he told residents.

But he added that Wynn will develop a plan that will address a variety of concerns.

“I believe they [Wynn] believe they will be able to mitigate traffic issues,” DeMaria said.

James Sachetta, 85, a lifelong resident of Everett, said, “All this will finally help the traffic . . . Traffic doesn’t move now.”

Dirk called the flyover a “very efficient” way to handle the additional traffic that could be generated from the proposed 550-room hotel, 24-hour casino, and upscale restaurants and shops planned for a former Monsanto chemical factory.

The long vacant site is accessible by Routes 16 and 99, two heavily traveled state highways.

“We’re very well aware of all the backups,” Dirk said.

Other proposed changes would add an approach lane at Sweetsir Circle, located at Routes 16 and 99. The firm hopes to work with the city of Boston on improvements to Sullivan Square, a key entryway to Everett.

The traffic management is not yet completed, and consultants did not provide an estimate of how much the improvements would cost.

Kathy McCabe can be reached at kmccabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMc­Cabe.
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