Selectmen support traffic signals for exit 10 ramps

Written by Administrator
 | Tuesday, 04 August 2009 21:19

Selectmen have thrown their support behind an effort to get a traffic signal installed near the intersection of Route 3 and Route 3A.

Town Planner Thomas Broadrick met with the board Monday night to update selectmen on a plan by the state to revamp the intersection’s off and on ramps, widely considered to be a traffic hazard. The project has been on MassHighway’s radar for a number of years, but the proposed expansion of the Island Creek housing development just down the road may push the project up the state’s list of priorities, according to Broadrick and representatives from Island Creek’s developer.

The process is long and filled with paper work. Duxbury (and neighboring Kingston) would eventually want the intersection to appear on the state’s TIP, or Transportation Improvement Project, list.

Before that, Broadrick said, the Board of Selectmen needs to sign off on a proponents project letter information form, which will then be brought to the attention of state transportation agencies.

“You can always yank things off the list but it takes a lot to put them on,” he said.

Broadrick said the goal would be to get the project in line for a round of transportation funding in 2013-15.

“It would make sense to at least get this on the list,” he said. He said that in his time as a planner he has seen projects take up to 10 years to move from being placed on the TIP list to groundbreaking.

Jeff Dirk, a traffic engineers with the Island Creek team, told selectmen the installation of traffic signals is separate from his project, saying that the additional traffic from the development won’t significantly add to the already messy interchange.

“The crash rate at those intersections is already twice the state average,” he said.

At prior Zoning Board of Appeals hearings Dirk and others have suggested the Island Creek project may help speed up the process of getting the state to install signals.

“It really does give you juice,” said Island Creek consultant Ed Marchant.

Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Betsy Sullivan said signals at at the Exit 10 off ramps are “long overdue.”

“We’ve had people die there,” she said. “A month doesn’t go by that we don’t have an accident there.”

In other business:

• The board tabled discussion of a recent opinion, issued by Town Counsel Robert Troy, stating that the board’s vote not to ratify Town Manager Richard MacDonald’s decision not to renew the contract of Police Chief Mark DeLuca had no legal standing. Selectmen Christopher Donato and Sullivan decided to wait until the Aug. 17 meeting so that Jon Witten, who was not in attendance Monday night, could participate in the discussion.

• MacDonald informed the board that he has appointed a crematory building committee, consisting of cemetery trustees, a citizen at large, the cemetery commissioner, the DPW director and the building inspector, to study how to best use $80,000 appropriated at Town Meeting for a new crematory facility.

• The board learned that a grant would be used to study the possibility of building a wind turbine on several town-owned sites, including the high school, the Alden and Chandler schools, the middle school, town hall, transfer station, DPW facility and the North Hill Golf Course.

• The board learned, from MacDonald, that the US Postal Service is facing a financial crisis and is studying the possibility of closing the Snug Harbor post office. MacDonald stressed that the facility had not been officially reccomended for closing, merely that the Postal Service is studying 3,200 offices across the country.

“I know the postal service is having some severe financial problems,” he said. “I will be following this up, I will be keeping everybody informed.”