If you ever need to bail off Rt 15 SB to drive by Sikorsky, you know what it’s like to sit in that god-awful traffic. All those un-synched red lights. Desperate driers. And, of course, the blockage that spills onto 15 to begin with.
As someone who drives this every day, allow me to elaborate why this is huge news. Basically, that string of 3 lights causes nonstop agony for us drivers. There’s no flow to traffic, so only the first cars exiting 15 and Sikorsky can creep onto Rt 11o before the lights change.
The lights allowing those on 15 and out of Sikorsky turn green around the same time.
So, those exiting 15 and turning right have about 50 feet of space before having to wait behind another red light. And those turning right out of that driveway then have to wait behind the Oronoque Lane light, which is also about 50 feet from their respective exit.
However, sometimes people can’t even get onto Rt 110 because impatient drivers block the intersections.
It’s a total disaster area that helps absolutely no one and contributes to more emissions polluting the air due to the sheer amount of idling vehicles.
But it won’t create a problem for much longer.
CT Post reports that the state finally agreed to do something about the mess. Our lawmakers gave our state Department of Transportation permission to realign the road. Which means, taking down some of those poorly timed traffic lights and syncing things up a bit.
Also, Sikorsky’s big factory gate that creates even deeper chaos come quitting time? Yes, the DOT will move it 125 feet so it’ll sync up with Oronoque Lane. Meaning, that light in the middle is going bye-bye.
Which also means those bailing off 15 won’t have to fight with Sikorsky’s workers to get onto Rt 110.
The state plans for the rt 110/Main Street/River Road project to cost about $1.5 million. Thankfully we won’t have to pay for the relocation of the south gate because Sikorsky’s paying for it.
This entire project comes as a huge relief to not only workers, but also to residents who drive that particular stretch every day. For over a decade, sommuters fought to have something changed about that series of lights.
Although, this particular patch of road remained a sore spot for many for over 50 years.
Matt Fulda, executive director of MetroCO, explains:
“There’s a pretty significant accident history in the corridor. A lot of the traffic is from Sikorsky employees, a lot is from other businesses in the stretch and a lot of the traffic is from people passing through. There are a lot of side-swipe crashes.”
A big issue is the people coming off 15 electing to ignore the “No Right on Red” signs. Another issue is poorly timed lights and cars blocking those who have green lights. Basically, everyone tries jumping onto Rt 110 as fast as they can, knowing the capricious lights will change any minute.
About 31,000 cars per day (or a fifth of the traffic I-95 sees) struggle with the lights.
And, because of that, the gridlock causes traffic to back up onto 15SB every weekday. Which, obviously, creates ample conditions for even more accidents due to people jumping in and out lanes to bypass the conga line of cars.
On top of that, the town of Stratford wishes to end the practice of cars blocking those trying to exit 15. Once the project starts, the town will roll out their own “block the box” campaign.
So, if someone finds themselves under the red light or in the box when it’s not their turn to go, they’ll face a $92 fine.
That said, we finally have one less mess to fight through during our commute home. What other problem areas should the state tackle next?