State Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge) and state Representative Themis Klarides (R-Derby) met for 45 minutes today with state Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker to discuss the concerns that some Woodbridge residents have regarding the ongoing re-design of the Route 67/63 intersection, particularly with respect to the installation of a new traffic light there, according to a joint press release from the lawmakers.
Here is the rest of the press release:
Commissioner Redeker said the DOT will create a project background update in the coming weeks and distribute it to area residents in order to clarify any misconceptions and to provide updated information on the project, which was first conceived of eight years ago but which only recently received state and federal funding to begin.
“Given that time lapse, you are always going to have issues, because things change,” Commissioner Redeker said.
About a dozen Woodbridge residents have contacted Sen. Crisco’s and Rep. Klarides’s office over the past several months expressing concern about the project, ranging from the need for a new traffic light to the possible effects of blasting ledge, leveling a rise in the road, pedestrian crossings and a new turn lane.
Each of those issues was raised today by Sen. Crisco and Rep. Klarides and answered by Commissioner Redeker and two DOT engineers who are familiar with the project.
“The bottom line is these intersection changes will make this intersection safer for Woodbridge residents,” Sen. Crisco said.
“These changes are necessary in order to improve long-term safety and usability for commuters,” Rep. Klarides said. “We will continue to monitor the project and make sure information is available to residents every step of the way.”
DOT officials said daily traffic counts on Routes 67 and 63 – known locally as Seymour Road and Amity Road – have increased 10 percent since they were last done in 2006. Both are main feeder roads to the Merritt Parkway and to downtown New Haven.
DOT officials offered the following explanations for various aspects of the redesign:
- A new traffic light – and not a flashing light -- is needed due to increased traffic volumes at peak rush hours on both roads and for the safety of motorists who will now have a dedicated left-hand turn lane from Route 67 northbound on to Route 63. Presently there is only a stop sign on Route 67, and cars turning left must merge into speeding traffic while cars turning right must sneak alongside those turning left. Traffic light timing will be adjusted to allow for smooth traffic flows during off-peak hours. Also, the light is not expected to create “queue” problems for nearby driveways; DOT projections 20 years into the future show the line of cars at the light during rush hour will not block nearby driveways.
- Blasting will only be done in a controlled manner in a hole in order to remove some ledge in order to facilitate the drainage work. Presently, private contractors are using a large impact hammer to break-up surface ledge and remove it. “This is actually the best of the options for the project to get in and out of the area as soon as possible,” Commissioner Redeker said.
- Removing a three-foot rise in the road is needed to increase sight lines so that motorists have ample time to apply to apply their brakes.
The project – which includes drainage work and relocating existing utilities – is expected to be completed by November 2015.