MDOT studying Eddy Road traffic safety

Engineer says department considering lower speed limit, better signage
Posted:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 12:30pm

A Maine Department of Transportation engineer told Edgecomb selectmen Sept. 11, the agency is considering lower speed limits and more signage to improve safety on Eddy Road. Town officials contacted MDOT officials last month following a complaint from a Boothbay Harbor resident.

On Aug. 29, Maggie Connelly complained about the road’s safety after encountering a large trailer truck traveling at high speeds. She said the truck nearly hit her car. Connelly reported she was driving with her mother Aug. 15 when the truck came head-on toward her vehicle. She described traffic as being dangerous due to high speeds and lack of signage warning about dangerous curves.

MDOT engineers recently examined Eddy Road and reported that lowering speed limits from 35 to either 30 or 25 miles per hour and more signage would improve safety. The selectmen heard a report from MDOT professional engineer Gerry Audibert on Monday. Audibert said the department may commission a traffic study to better understand safety issues along the road.

In other action, selectmen set a Sept. 21 deadline for sealed bids on a U.S. Route 1 tax-acquired property. Selectmen are seeking a minimum bid of $4,200, which covers back taxes and other expenses. Three of the property’s four abutters responded to the town’s inquiry about purchasing the property. In two weeks, selectmen will consider whether or not to accept the highest bid.

Selectman Ted Hugger reported about a Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor financed initiative to study economic development within the peninsula. The two towns’ Joint Economic Development Committee commissioned Camoin Associates, along with engineering firm Wright Pierce and Portland landscape and architecture firm MRLD, to develop a regional economic master plan. The consultant is examining the region’s infrastructure, downtown development, affordable workforce housing opportunities advanced by possible land use changes, and potential tax increment financing (TIF) or other development projects based on local needs.

Hugger reported Edgecomb’s economic development committee participated last week during the consultant’s interviewing of various peninsula stakeholders.

“They conducted 73 interviews to identify the region’s needs for economic development. It’s an interesting process and it’s good seeing all four towns working together. It’s a good sign because you don’t always see that type of camaraderie among neighbors,” he said.

Edgecomb and Southport are JEDC members, but neither town is contributing financially to the regional economic development master plan.  Southport joined the JEDC two years ago and contributed $5,000 for wayfinding and increasing local broadband access. Edgecomb joined this year and hasn’t made a financial contribution.

Selectmen will meet next at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25 in the municipal building.