Residents interested in learning about the state’s plans to make travel safety improvements along one of the most congested and accident-prone sections of roadway in town can attend a meeting on the construction project slated for next week.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has scheduled a public informational session on its project to create a conventional four-way signalized intersection of Church Hill Road (Route 6), Commerce Road, and Edmond Road for Tuesday, July 22, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.
DOT officials will be available to discuss the project with the public starting at 6:30 pm. A DOT presentation on plans to improve traffic flow in the Church Hill/Commerce/Edmond area is slated to start at 7.
The DOT’s sheaf of plans for the intersection improvement project are available for public review at the town land use agency office at Newtown Municipal Center.
The DOT has been in the preliminary design stage of the traffic safety project.
The plans call for the southern end of Edmond Road to be shifted westward so that Edmond Road becomes part of a four-way intersection with Church Hill Road and Commerce Road.
The three roads now comprise a broadly offset intersection, with the southern end of Edmond Road lying about 250 feet east of the northern end of Commerce Road.
The area has one of the highest accident rates in the ten-town Housatonic Valley Regional Planning Area.
At the July 22 session, the DOT will present its ideas for the project, with members of the public able to ask questions and make suggestions.
Construction work is expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million. The project area will include the section of Church Hill Road the lies between its existing intersections with Commerce Road and with the Exit 10 ramps for eastbound Interstate 84.
Besides the large volume of traffic in that area, one of the reasons that the area has so many accidents is its many commercial driveways. Motorists often encounter vehicle-turning conflicts, resulting in low-speed collisions.
Making a left turn from the many commercial driveways and from Edmond Road often poses long waits for motorists.
The southern end of Edmond Road is now controlled by a stop sign, while the northern end of Commerce Road is controlled by a traffic signal.
At the planned new intersection, the DOT would create a left-turn lane on Edmond Road.
An approximately 1,000-foot-long section of Edmond Road would be shifted to the west to create the new four-way intersection.
Traffic signals in the area would be synchronized to improve traffic flow. Also, Church Hill Road would get a small increase in width.
The project would include the installation of some new stormwater sewers. Whether sidewalks would be constructed is expected to be discussed at the July 22 session.
The construction project is expected to start in the spring of 2016 and be completed by late 2017. DOT construction plans are subject to scheduling changes.