OXFORD — A plan to activate the traffic lights at the Oxford Casino intersection on Route 26 is scheduled as part of a larger overlay project on the state road in Oxford and Poland set to begin this April.

Maine Department of Transportation Press Secretary Ted Talbot told the Advertiser Democrat that the project is scheduled from April 1 to early October.

It will be clearer when the traffic lights will be activated from a flashing yellow light and red turn signal to a timed green-yellow-red sequence as part of the overall project once the contractor submits his schedule in the next few weeks, said Talbot.

“The change in date was done to accommodate some in-streamwork that is part of this project,” Talbot said. “We will have a better idea when some of the individual parts will be done when the contractor submits their schedule in the next few weeks.”

The redesign of the intersection at the entrance to the Oxford Casino, including the activation of the traffic lights which are currently blinking only, was made by DOT officials after they and local officials, representatives of the Oxford Casino and the Hampton Inn met shortly after a July 2016 accident when two Rhode Island businessmen were struck and killed by a motorist while crossing the street from the Oxford Casino to the Hampton Inn on foot.

The intersection was also the site of a second serious accident that occurred later  that summer involving a motorist and an Oxford Casino shuttle crossing to the Hampton Inn.

The plan was to have the project costs split between the town, DOT and Oxford Casino, but last August, the town received a waiver from Department of Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt for its $60,000 portion of the $180,000 Oxford Casino intersection improvements project. The town’s share was one third of the total cost of the project.

Originally the project cost was estimated to be about $400,000 to $500,000 (with a three-way split) but that cost was reduced to about $180,000 (or $60,000 each) when the state determined it could do the work as part of a planned overlay project on Route 26.

Part of the plan – to reduce the speed in the area as part of the redesign – has already been completed.

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