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Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Clinton Ave. Intersection Set for Spring Realignment

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) is scheduled in the spring to realign the “skewed geometry” of the Main Street intersection at Clinton Avenue and Compo Road North, town officials announced today.

WestportNow.com Image
The view of the intersection under study looking from Clinton Avenue to Compo Road North. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The problem intersection that requires motorists heading left onto Clinton to turn behind instead of in front of oncoming traffic, has been responsible for 93 accidents, 25 involving injuries, over a five-year period, officials say. The project is expected to be completed by the fall.

According to First Selectman Jim Marpe, the realignment was originally expected to start in the spring of 2015 and be completed by fall. However, it was put on hold by CDOT pending approval for a culvert installation from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Marpe said he has been in discussions with the CDOT to ensure that any necessary traffic detours associated with both the intersection redo and the problem plagued North Avenue Bridge project do not happen concurrently.

“The intersection re-alignment and culvert replacement project will be a major improvement and something the town has long wanted addressed,” he added.

Marpe said the realignment aims to improve safety and traffic operations, and that it was first publicly discussed with CDOT engineers at a Westport Town Hall public meeting in May 2013.  At that time, the CDOT outlined plans to add lanes to improve safety at the intersection. (See WestportNow May 31, 2013)

William Britnell, CDOT principal engineer, described the problem as “skewed geometry ...where the intersection does not exist as a vertical line crossing a horizontal one. “

“It was explained that it is more like two opposite tree branches, one higher or lower than the other, with Compo off to the left of Clinton Avenue that is across Main Street,” Britnell said.

WestportNow.com Image
CDOT presented this diagram of intersection improvements at Westport’s Main Street and Compo Road North, Routes 57 and 136 respectively at a May 2013 Town Hall meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com/file photo

According to DOT’s engineers, the project involves widening the east side of Route 57 (Main Street) for approximately 1,000 feet to provide exclusive left-turn lanes in both directions.  Additionally, Compo Road will be widened at the intersection, providing an exclusive left-turn lane while realigning the through-lane with Clinton Avenue. There will also be traffic light replacements.

As part of the project, the Willow Brook storm culvert at Clinton Avenue is to be replaced because it is undersized and has been a long standing problem in large storms when the stream overflows, flooding the intersection, Marpe said.

He added that an additional benefit of the project is that the existing bituminous walkway along the north side of Route 57 (Main Street) will be upgraded to become an ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant sidewalk.

“We are pleased to learn that the job has been bid and is on the verge of being awarded with work scheduled to start April 1, 2016,” he added.

“At the same time, we are acutely aware that this work and the now delayed North Avenue Bridge repair project must not interfere with each other or compound traffic difficulties for Westporters

“It is imperative that Westport officials are involved and have input into the scheduling and planning process throughout the life of the project,” Marpe said.

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Posted 12/08/15 at 04:59 PM



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