CHESHIRE — A state Department of Transportation request for $1.77 million to replace traffic signals on Route 10 goes before the State Bond Commission Wednesday, when the panel meets in Hartford.
DOT officials are developing plans to replace older signals and install new ones with improved pedestrian control features, including timers. The project also calls for sidewalk ramps and crosswalks.
Officials have proposed new signals where Route 10 intersects with Route 42, at Creamery Road and Private Drive and at Cornwall Avenue.
A timeline for the proposed project was not available.
The office of state Sen. Mary Abrams, a Democrat whose districts include Cheshire and Meriden, issued a statement Friday afternoon in support of the funding.
“Transportation safety is very important, and I'm glad to see a project like this is being recognized for the importance it has,” Abrams said in the statement. “I'm grateful to the Bond Commission and Gov. Ned Lamont for their investment in Cheshire and for their support of healthy and safe transportation and recreation in our state.”
Abrams’ office referenced the Connecticut Crash Data Repository, maintained by the University of Connecticut, in calling Route 10 the most dangerous road in Cheshire. In 2019, 143 crashes have occurred on Route 10 as of Dec. 2., according to the repository.
During that same time span, 128 crashes have occurred on Interstate 84 and 76 crashes on Route 70 — which rank second and third by number of crashes, according to the repository's list.
In 2018, 201 motor vehicle crashes occurred on Route 10. The vast majority — 156 — involved no apparent injuries. Only two crashes involved suspected serious injuries, while no fatal injuries were reported. A total of 14 of the incidents involved pedestrians.
Cheshire Town Manager Sean Kimball, in an email, wrote, “From the Town's standpoint these are welcome public safety improvements to increase pedestrian safety with new sidewalk ramps, push buttons and exclusive pedestrian phases at three important intersections along Route 10. I am hopeful that the funding for this state initiative is passed at next week’s Bond Commission meeting.”
State Rep. Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire, described pedestrian safety as “as a huge concern, not only of mine, but also of my constituents.”
“I'm glad the Department of Transportation is moving ahead with signal upgrades that have proven safety features. It's necessary for a walkable town, and that's the direction in which we want Cheshire to keep moving,” Linehan said.