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

The state road project in Oxford and Poland is scheduled to take place from April 1 to early October, Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said.

Once the contractor submits his schedule in the next few weeks, 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, Talbot said.

“The change in date was done to accommodate some in-stream work 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, was decided after a fatal accident in July  2016. Two Rhode Island businessmen were struck and killed by a motorist while crossing the street from the Oxford Casino to the Hampton Inn.

The intersection was also the site of a 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 redesign costs split among the town, MDOT and the casino, but in August 2018 the town received a waiver from Department of Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt for the town’s $60,000 share of the $180,000 intersection improvement project. 

Originally, the cost was estimated to be about $400,000 to $500,000 (with a three-way split), but it 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 — reducing the speed limit in the area — has already been done.

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The intersection at the Oxford Casino currently has a blinking yellow light and red turn signal to direct traffic. (Advertiser Democrat photo by Leslie H. Dixon)