City considering options for improving Route 1 and 141 intersection

By Ben Holbrook | Oct 02, 2012

Belfast — To address safety concerns at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 141, the city is considering options for how to improve the area using a Maine Department of Transportation Grant.

A Road Safety Audit team from MDOT presented a list of recommendations on how to improve the intersection, which included adjusting the location of the cross walk, installing warning signage, removing more of the rock outcropping next to the Route 1 southbound lane and install a roundabout.

However, due to the limited funding — the city received a grant for $100,000 from MDOT and matched that funding with $7,500 –– many of the suggested recommendations would not be financially possible.

In a memo to councilors, Assistant City Planner James Francomano suggests identifying specific recommendations that are a priority and can be feasibly addressed within the scope of the budget.

City Councilor Mike Hurley said the council wants to make the intersection safer, but is limited by how much money is available to address all of the issues. With the current financing, Hurley said it would be possible to remove some of the rock ledge, move the cross walk and put up better signage.

Hurley said one of the problems at the intersection is that people have to wait a long time to turn to head north, and traffic tends to back up as a result.

“The state keeps track of these things and it’s on their radar,” Hurley said.

Once a final list for prioritizing the work is completed, Francomano estimated the project could be bid out later in the winter and work could begin in the spring or fall of 2013. A traffic engineer will review the list to determine which projects can be completed with the available funding, Francomano notes in his memo.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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