JAY — Despite a lack of accidents in recent years where Routes 4 and 17 split in the tiny village of North Jay, the intersection now sports its first traffic signal.

On Wednesday morning, the hazard warning beacon, as Maine Department of Transportation regional manager Norman Haggan called it, was flashing alternating red lights to traffic entering the intersection from Route 17 and Old Jay Hill Road, which are directly across from each other.

Alternating yellow lights flashed to Route 4 traffic while a Jay police officer watching traffic sat in his cruiser parked beside the nearby Jay fire station.

“It’s just a safety project that they decided was warranted and funded it,” Haggan said Wednesday morning in Dixfield of the department. “It’s a warning beacon and not a stop light, so it will improve safety without affecting mobility.”

He said the MDOT fielded requests for a safety beacon from Jay based on observations from either town officials or townspeople.

“We did get requests from somebody in Jay, looked at it and determined it was warranted,” he said.

Reading from a traffic volume study, Haggan said that about 6,990 cars travel through the intersection daily on Route 4, whereas 1,730 cars enter daily from Route 17.

He said there haven’t been many accidents at the spot thanks to good sight distance from Routes 4 and 17 heading into the intersection, and from Route 17 to the intersection.

However, drivers entering from Old Jay Hill Road cannot see oncoming traffic coming from Jay due to a sharp corner.

“They expect the ones coming from across the other side on 17, but not on 4 and 17,” he said, which is why the hazard warning beacon was installed.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.