Changes planned for high-crash location in Orono

Maine DOT trying to improve Route 2 safety in Orono.

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Over the last five years, there have been 41 car accidents at the intersection of Route 2 and Rangely Road-- three times more than the number of crashes for similar intersections across the state. The town and the Department of Transportation are now calling that intersection of route 2 and Rangely Road -- a high crash location.

“It’s one of the higher crash location in this region so it needs to be tended to,” said Evan Richert, Orono’s town manager.

More than half of the accidents that occurred at this intersection involved drivers between the ages of 20 and 24. The majority of them failed to make a successful left-hand turn as they tried to enter UMaine’s campaign.

Years of numerous accidents became too much for the town of Orono, so they sought help from Maine’s DOT.

“Something is obviously needed for pedestrian safety, for traffic calming measures… it is proven that roundabouts do just that,” said DOT spokesperson, Ted Talbot.

Locals said it is nearly impossible to make a left-hand turn without getting into an accident. Talbot said a roundabout is a perfect solution but not everyone agrees.

“There is a legitimate worry that constant moving traffic will have a negative impact upstream and downstream,” said Richert.

Despite some skepticism, Richert remains hopeful this plan will make it safer for drivers.

“These are very, very effective and they continue to be installed not only in Maine, but throughout the country because of their effectiveness,” said Talbot.

The 2.8 million dollar plan is officially a done deal and is expected to begin in January of 2018.
 

 

Copyright 2016 WLBZ


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