NEWINGTON - Citizens are invited to an informational meeting tonight to learn about a proposal to mend one of the town’s most dangerous intersections.
The Town Plan & Zoning Commission is set to present its plan to realign Maple Hill Avenue with Alumni Road, installing a traffic signal at the intersection and making other improvements to the street and surrounding area. A public meeting to discuss it is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Newington Town Hall, 131 Cedar St.
Town Planner Craig Minor spread the word last week, so residents in surrounding neighborhoods and others interested in the project could attend.
“The main thing here is safety,” Minor said. “This project will make this intersection so much safer for people.”
The town has been mulling its options for improving this section of the state roadway for years. Former Police Chief Richard Mulhall recorded 250 accidents there between 1994 and 2004, 35 of which resulted in serious injuries.
A past proposal that involved taking land by eminent domain failed to gain public support. This condition would not be imposed by the new plan.
A traffic engineer hired by the town worked with the TPZ to draw the new concept. It would allow thru traffic on Alumni Road, where a gate blocks vehicles from crossing between Willard Avenue and Cedar Street.
Maple Hill Avenue’s intersection with Route 175 would be capped off and turned into a cul-de-sac, and the street would be re-routed behind four homes to align with Alumni. The traffic light installed at this new intersection would permit safer turns to and from the busy state road. In addition, the western entrance to Old Farm Drive would be closed to all but emergency vehicles and a new traffic light would be installed at the road’s eastern entrance.
The Department of Transportation would pay for the project, since it involves a state highway. Department staff has expressed its willingness to move forward if and when the town decides it is ready, Minor said.
“Our chances are very good,” he explained. “The state told us last year it would be willing to consider adding this to their list of projects. We’ve been given the understanding they would consider moving forward in the near future.”
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
WHAT: Public information meeting on Alumni Road plan
WHEN: Tuesday, May 2 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Newington Town Hall auditorium, 131 Cedar St.