NEW GLOUCESTER — On Monday, a remedy plan being developed by the Maine Department of Transportation for a dangerous intersection at Routes 100, 202 and 4 and Route 231 in Upper Gloucester got a green light of endorsement from selectmen.
The intersection, adjacent to the Upper Gloucester Master Planning effort, has a history of many accidents, and the MDOT has been seeking a solution for the past few years.
The board urged the MDOT to add speed-calming measures to the plan, stressing that increased driving speed may have unintended consequences due to the new roadway alignment. Both the board and the MDOT were tasked to do more research and find ways to implement these measures.
Al Godfrey Jr. prepared a new design alternative plan for TMSI Engineers of Gardiner, consultant to the MDOT.
Last April, another proposal to relocate portions of the intersection were unacceptable to selectmen.
The steep grade to the south accessing Routes 100, 202 and 4 from Route 231 has been a factor in many accidents. Godfrey’s preliminary plan now calls for cutting off a three-foot crest of the hill to the north of the intersection between a former gas station and the Masonic Lodge, up to 150 feet along the route to reduce the hillside grade and improve sight distance.
The Route 231 intersection will be enlarged for northbound traffic entering Route 100 in a sweeping right turn, accomplished with a wider radius.
This site has been challenging for turning school buses and firetrucks. It can also cause trucks to bottom out due to having to make several turning attempts with an insufficient turning radius.
Godfrey will present the findings of Monday’s meeting to the MDOT in anticipation for the next step — developing the preliminary plan to prepare for a public hearing in in New Gloucester February or March.
If the plan proceeds, the next steps include seeking bids for the project next fall, with construction to start in the spring of 2016.
Roughly $850,000 is available for the project using Federal Safety funds.
In other business, the board agreed to issue a junkyard license renewal to Vicki and Larry Wedge of Sabbathday Road. Code Enforcement Officer Debra Parks Larrivee said in a memo that an upgrade to the fence and removal of all cars visible over the top of the fence will be remediated, and the area between the road and the fence will be kept free from vehicles.
“Due to the onset of winter weather, a date of May 1 is the date of compliance,” Larravee wrote. “Conditions that are not met at that time will be considered a violation and his license will be revoked.”