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    Friday, March 01, 2024

    DOT to install new signs, road markings at intersections in three communities

    The intersection of Montauk Avenue and Plant Street, where New London’s public works department has highlighted crosswalks and installed heavy rubber traffic dividers. (Daniel Drainville/The Day).
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    The intersection of Eugene O’Neill Drive and Golden Street, where New London’s public works department has installed an elevated section of road known as a traffic table. (Daniel Drainville/The Day).
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    The Connecticut Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will improve signs and road markings at 29 intersections it deems dangerous in New London, Montville and Waterford.

    The design plans for the improvements are expected to be complete by March 24, 2024, Project Manager Jonathan Carrillo said Wednesday. The DOT will put the project out to bid in late May 2024 in hopes of beginning construction in early 2025, he added.

    “We’re looking at higher crash locations and doing what we can to improve safety,” Carrillo said.

    “There’s money that comes to the state to do road repairs, do projects, do paving,” DOT spokesman Josh Morgan said Thursday. “There’s a lot of money out there to do these safety improvements.”

    Morgan said the DOT worked with police and used publicly-accessible crash data to identify areas where there are high numbers of accidents. The project will be fully funded by the Federal Highway Administration, he added.

    “We’re a data-driven organization,” he added. “We can’t just say this site is unsafe, we want to look at the data.”

    Morgan said the DOT wants to make sure the projects are in places where they’re going to have the biggest impact on safety.

    The project calls for replacing stop signs to bring them up to current standards, Morgan said. The new signs will be bigger and more reflective.

    The reflective coating on the signs, which is important for nighttime visibility, often wears away after time, he added.

    Meanwhile, New London Public Works Director Brian Sear and Waterford Public Works Director Gary Schneider said they were a little surprised that the DOT was taking an interest in the municipal roads, but welcomed the idea.

    “Normally the state just gets involved with state roads, but this is them doing proposed striping and signage to make safer intersections on municipal roads,” said Sear.

    “It’s good that the DOT is going to bat for us, he added. ”They don’t usually cross into the turf of municipal roads, and I welcome it. It’s good that they’re applying their technology and funds to that.“

    Sear said New London’s public works department made improvements to a few of the locations on the DOT’s list, including the intersection of Golden Street and Eugene O’Neill Drive, where it added an elevated section of road to slow traffic and the intersection of Montauk Avenue and Plant Street, where it installed heavy rubber traffic dividers and highlighted the crosswalk.

    He said he would talk with Carrillo to make sure the DOT is aware of that work.

    “It would be great if there’s federal funds out there to make those intersections safer,” Schneider said Thursday. “That’s always a thumbs up for that.”

    A cost estimate for the project will not be available until it goes out to bid in May, at which time a firmer timeline for the project will also be available, Morgan said.

    A list of the projects can be found here at https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DOT/documents/dcommunications/0172-0521-List-of-Locations-for-Press-Release.pdf

    d.drainville@theday.com

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