Edgecomb residents ask MDOT about ‘Florida T’
A traffic control measure for U.S. Route 1 and Route 27 in Edgecomb will be in place by July 2019, but the design is still in the conceptual stage, according to Maine Department of Transportation. Edgecomb residents learned more about the proposal to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents on what department officials describe as one of the most heavily traveled and accident prone intersections in the state.
MDOT Senior Project Manager Ernie Martin and civil engineer Matt Philbrick led a 30-minute discussion during a preliminary public meeting about plans for the troubled intersection. Martin reported the project had received state funding for 2019. Philbrick described current plans for improving intersection traffic flow by constructing a “protected left,” also called a “Florida T.” This safety measure provides acceleration and deceleration lanes for left-turning traffic onto U.S. Route 1.
The department is also improving signage along U.S. Route 1 to better prepare motorists for the change, according to Philbrick. “Overhanging span wires will direct traffic into the proper lane. This will change current traffic patterns and eliminate a majority of traffic accidents,” he said.
During the June 5 MDOT meeting with selectmen, Martin reported the intersection has been closely monitored since 2015. At peak times, MDOT reports 14,000 cars use the intersection daily, with 5,000 coming from the Boothbay region.
About a dozen Edgecomb residents attended the meeting. Their questions centered around traffic safety at the intersection and beyond. Resident Heidi Wright shared her daily experience of merging onto U.S. Route 1 for a location beyond the intersection. “It’s not just the intersection,” she said. “It’s a white knuckle experience from our place each day.”