SABATTUS — The Board of Selectmen approved the purchase of a new truck for the Public Works Department on Tuesday night, at a cost of $84,609.

Public Works Director Gary LaBonte said the truck, a 2020 Freightliner, should arrive in November. It will be another four months to get it outfitted and ready to plow.

“We can get through one more winter with the trucks we have now,” LaBonte said.

The board also approved a proposed road project from the Maine Department of Transportation for a four-way stop at the intersection of Route 9, Bowdoinham Road and Crowley Road.

Dennis Emidy, an MDOT traffic engineer, said a traffic study was performed on the intersection after the board raised concerns about the high crash volumes there.
Emidy said that in the past 10 years, there have been 37 crashes at the intersection, including 11 over the past three years.

“This has been a high crash location for many years,” Emidy said. “We had a flashing beacon there, but clearly it did not do what we wanted.”

Board of Selectmen Vice Chairman Jean Paul Curran said he drives through that intersection almost every day.

“On my way here, I was going 50 (mph), and a motorcycle behind me passed me and he must have been going 80 — and he gave me a dirty look,” Curran said.

“A sign is not gonna stop that,” Selectmen Guy Desjardins said.

Emidy said the project has a good chance of making the MDOT’s 2021-22 project schedule.

Jeff Pulver, an MDOT engineer, said the plan includes double flashing “Stop” signs on all four sides of the intersection, double flashing “Stop Ahead” signs and “New pattern ahead” signs for the first year or so after the project has been completed.

The proposal also included a flashing overhead red beacon, “Stop Ahead” pavement marking and decreased speed limits close to the intersection.

“The project has a high benefit ratio, and it will help if there’s support from the town,” Emidy said.

There would be no local cost for the project, Emidy said, because 90% of the cost would be covered by federal funds and 10% by state funds.

“I think the people who live around there are going to love it,” Desjardins said.

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