Tuesday, December 10, 2013
WILTON — Residents will have a chance to voice concerns and ask questions about upcoming safety improvements to a dangerous local intersection during a public hearing tonight, Thursday.
The Maine Department of Transportation is holding a public hearing on upcoming improvements to the intersection of U.S. Route 2 and Route 156.
When: 6-8 tonight, Thursday
Where: Academy Hill School, Depot Street, Wilton
The upcoming road construction is intended to improve the safety of the U.S. Route 2 and Route 156 intersection, which has a history of fatal accidents, including one in September that killed a Chesterville woman.
The proposal from the Maine Department of Transportation includes changing the road on the east side of the intersection to include turnoffs.
Comments from area residents are important to the project, said Ted Talbot, a department spokesman.
“They may not be engineers or designers, but they are drivers,” he said. “They can tell us if there are cars flying by or a blind spot.”
Talbot said it would be difficult to find an intersection to compare the proposal to, and added the final project could change depending on the feedback the department gets from residents.
The department has worked with the town to improve the intersection since a string of fatal and near-fatal crashes at the intersection in 2009.
There were eight accidents, including one involving a person taken by ambulance to a hospital, at the intersection in 2011 and 2012, according to the most recent Maine Department of Transportation data.
There also were three fatalities at or near the intersection in 2009.
On Sept. 3, 2009, a Farmington man was killed when his car crossed the center line and struck an oncoming truck near the Dixfield town line.
On Aug. 28, 2009, a rider on an all-terrain vehicle was killed and a passenger critically injured when they tried to cross the highway and were hit by a logging truck.
On March 9, 2009, a woman was killed, and her grown grandchildren and a great-grandchild were injured, when another driver crossed the center line near Route 156 and hit their car head-on.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252