Route 107 intersection work: Traffic lights set to blink this week

The intersection work in Georgetown is mostly complete, with new traffic signals expected to be blinking on Friday.

John Kuchta, senior construction engineer with AI Engineers, the construction inspectors, said the light heads on the signals were expected to be installed on Thursday. By Friday, he said, the cleanup of the site — removing cones and barrels, etc. — should be done.

When the traffic lights — at the intersections of Route 107 and North Main Street/Portland Avenue and routes 107 and 57 — are turned on, probably by Friday, said Mr. Kuchta, they will be blinking. The lights will be blinking for about a month before they are programmed and set to work. Mr. Kuchta thinks that will take place sometime in February.

Meanwhile, as soon as the lights are up and blinking, there will be a semifinal inspection by state Department of Transportation officials and town officials, he said. Then, any corrections will be made.

The signalization of the two intersections, installation of sidewalks and crosswalks and other safety improvements were all part of this $1.9-million town project, which is being paid for with state and federal grants. Iapaluccio Inc. of Brookfield is the contractor for the roadwork, and it had a subcontractor for the electrical work. The project was originally slated for completion in August 2012. Among other things, weather stalled the project and Connecticut Light & Power Co. work was delayed.

The project was designed to benefit increased activity in the area that is expected to stem from the Georgetown Streetscape enhancements, completed last year, and the Gilbert & Bennett redevelopment of the former wire mill site off Route 107. The G&B project has been stalled because of the economy, but there is a potential buyer still in the due process stage.

A separate but related project off Route 107 was completed in 2012. This intersection work was for the “gateway” to the Gilbert & Bennett redevelopment project near the intersection of Route 107 and North Main Street/Portland Avenue.

The work realigned Portland Avenue to intersect with a realigned North Main Street. The traffic island at the intersection of the two roads was eliminated. There are also new crosswalks and streetlights, designed like those in the Streetscape project for Georgetown’s Main Street.

The bulk of the work was completed by mid-November, with the project completely finished in December. It, too, had an August completion date.

The Georgetown Special Taxing District was in charge of the intersection work. The taxing district was created to oversee the redevelopment of the former mill property.

This $1.2-million project was paid for with state grants from the Department of Economic Development.

All of the intersection improvements were needed before there could be a final build-out of the former wire mill property. The redevelopment plan calls for a pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented development with a mix of residential, commercial and retail units.

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