OXFORD – Motorists are enduring one lane passage at the intersection of Rte 26 and 121 in Welchville section of Oxford as efforts got underway recently to make safety improvements at the busy intersection to reduce the number of accidents.

The $600,000 safety improvement project, which went out to bid last summer and will not cost Oxford, was initiated by the Department of Transportation and is being combined with a second DOT overlay project. It is expected to be completed within several months.

Paul Merrill, DOT public information officer, said the contractor is expected to be working on the Rte. 121/26 intersection until early June. Work at the Oxford Casino intersection began this week. According to information from the DOT, the contractor intends to maintain all operations during the daytime hours but if the lane closures become problematic or other safety concerns arise, they may go to night time operations for some of the work.

The redesign of the intersection in the Welchville section of Oxford is being done to address what is considered a “high crash” intersection by redesigning the Route 121 entrance to the Big Apple complex and pushing it further back from Route 26. DOT officials said at a public hearing last year that the site distance for turns at the intersection will be increased by bringing the intersection to more of a 90-degree angle, creating a flush medium island for a designated left turn and creating a truck apron.

In addition to the intersection project, the DOT is planning to do an 1 1/4 quarter inch overlay on Route 26 between Rabbit Valley Road, on the south side of the Oxford Casino, and King Street (Route 121) by Main-ly Action Sports.

As part of that work, safety issues at the intersection at the Oxford Casino and Hampton Inn, where two pedestrians were killed in 2017 while trying to cross the road, will be addressed.

It is expected that the blinking yellow light will be activated to make it a timed green-yellow-red sequence as part of the pedestrian safety measures.The projects are being combined to keep disruption on the busy road to a minimum and to provide lower costs for the DOT.


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