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, Commerce Road, and Edmond Road.
The meeting is scheduled 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 its plans to improve traffic flow in the Church Hill/Commerce/Edmond area is slated to start at 7 pm.
The DOT’s 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.
In the project, the southern end of Edmond Road would 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, resulting in the state construction project intended to simplify traffic flow there.
At the session, the DOT will present its ideas for the project, with members of the public asking questions and making suggestions.
The construction work is expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million. The project area will cover the section of Church Hill Road that lies between its existing intersections with Commerce Road and with the Exit 10 ramps for eastbound Interstate 84.
Besides the large volume of traffic that the area carries, one of the reasons that the area has so many accidents is its many commercial driveways. Motorists traveling in the area often encounter vehicle-turning conflicts, resulting in low-speed collisions.
Making left turns from the commercial driveways and from Edmond Road often pose 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 add 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.
Besides improving traffic safety, the intersection realignment project is expected to open up some land in the Edmond Road area for commercial development.
Local officials have long sought to improve the appearance of the area. The area is considered a “visual gateway” to Newtown at which I-84 travelers enter the local road network.
Written questions or comments on the project may be sent to: Timothy M. Wilson, Manager of Highway Design, Connecticut Department of Transportation, PO Box 317546, Newington CT 06131-7546, or via e-mail at Timothy.Wilson@ct.gov.