A project to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety around the two-mile corner in Middletown may begin as early as 2014, announced Lambri Zweva, supervising civil engineer, with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, during a public workshop held at Middletown Town Hall on Tuesday night.
The proposal includes changes to the intersections at West Main Road and East Main Road and West Main Road and Coddington Highway, including modifications to traffic flow and sidewalks.
“Inefficiency means driver frustration, that means bad moves, that means sometimes accidents,” said Zweva. He said the design is 75 percent complete. The project will paid for with federal funds, said the DOT.
“I absolutely love the left turn lane into our area because it’s definitely hazardous,” said Craig Pruitt, owner of Pruitt Chiropractic on East Main Road. He asked the DOT to also consider solutions to make it easier for drivers to take a left out of his area and the SHAW's plaza.
Zweva added construction could be done at night, to avoid impacts to businesses in the area.
The DOT proposal includes restricting left turns in and out of Maple Avenue.
“Are you going to change the school bus routes? They all turn left. They aren’t going right,” asked Middletown resident Frank Forgue about the proposed restrictions.
Zweva said the department would have to look into the school bus routes.
To see a map of the project, click on the image to the right of this article.