Dangerous Milford intersection to get stop
Moore and Fernandes fought for this safety project
By Derek McLean
September 27, 2012 ... After years of lobbying with the state, work to install traffic and pedestrian signals to the notoriously dangerous intersection of Water Street and Prospect Street is set to begin on Oct. 1.
The project will be funded mostly by the state and it will upgrade the existing wheelchair ramps at the intersection to be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.
Milford Police Chief Thomas O’Loughlin said the intersection has been the site of many "fairly serious" accidents. He said that there are a lot of turns along Prospect Street (Rte. 140), making the line of sight difficult when turning onto the busy road.
"Putting a light there will save people from crashes, injury, and potential death," O’Loughlin said.
But Rte. 140 is owned by the state, which has prevented the town from installing traffic signals.
O’Loughlin said he has been sending letters to the state for the 11 years since he has been a member of the department, asking for the traffic signals.
Last year, the central transportation planning staff of the Boston Region conducted a study of the intersection’s crash history. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Press Secretary Sara Lavoie said the study recommended that traffic signals needed to be installed.
She said in an email, "The study showed that the crash rate was higher than the District 3 (a collection of suburban towns) and Statewide average crash rates for unsignalized intersections, and that 55 percent of the crashes that occurred were ‘angle’-type crashes."
After the study was conducted, MassDOT decided to fund and conduct the project’s installation, said Town Engineer Michael Santora.
But he said that parts of the land where the traffic signals will be installed were located on the properties of three of the intersection’s abutting residents. Santora said that an easement of the land would have cost the town around $6,500, which was appropriated at the annual Town Meeting.
Fortunately for the town, the abutters, including Peter Ferrelli, John and Mary Santoian, and Francis and Theresa Lacovelli all agreed to donate the easements to the town, Santora said.
Throughout the entire project, the only cost to the town has been $200 for recording fees at the Worcester Registry of Deeds, he said.
"These people saved the town a lot of money and we are very grateful for that," he said.
Lavoie said the installation of the traffic signal should be completed by late fall or early next year.
She said that a significant portion of the work will likely occur off of the roadway and have a minimal impact to traffic. But she said that there will be some lane closures during the daytime hours as signal wiring is installed.
This article appears courtesy of the Milford Daily News.