Southington officials hope state will fund 5-way intersection fix

Southington officials hope state will fund 5-way intersection fix


SOUTHINGTON — Town officials are hoping that state money to reconfigure the Curtiss and Hart streets junction, a complex five-way intersection, will be available this year after being withheld last year.

Adjusting the intersection is part of an effort to make the pedestrian crossing for the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail safer.

The Town Council unanimously approved the work at a meeting on March 13.

Town Manager Garry Brumback said the Capitol Region Council of Governments solicited bids and selected Martin Laviero Construction of Bristol for the work. The company has done work for the town before, including replacing the Town Hall roof.

The bid came in around the estimated cost of $350,000, Brumback said. Expected state funding was frozen mid-year in 2016.

“This is subject to (state) money being received,” Brumback said. “If we get (state) money, then we will go forward with this project.”

Public Works Director Keith Hayden described the Hart Street and Curtiss Street intersection as “kind of dangerous.” One home at 79 Curtiss St. has been struck by cars six times, according to the owners, Charles and Cynthia Chapman. The latest was in 2014 when a car crashed into the front porch and door.

Hayden wants to create a T-style intersection, which will make the area safer and allow pedestrians walking on the trail to cross more easily. The trail currently runs south from Curtiss Street.

Money from an Environmental Protection Agency settlement against the now-defunct Solvents Recovery Service will fund trail construction north from Curtiss Street to Lazy Lane.

During the March 13 meeting, Town Councilor John Barry said it would be dangerous to expand the trail if the intersection is not made safer. He also has doubts about the state money being available.

“I’m just concerned — the state is broke and here we are relying on the state,” Barry said. “Maybe we’ll see it, who knows.”

He asked if there was a backup plan and whether the town had looked into including the road reconfiguration in the overall trail project. Brumback said he could look into the possibility.

Councilor Paul Champagne suggested town reserves might be used for the project since it involved the safety of the community. 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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