After several years of planning and multiple years of inactivity, the state is preparing to get back to work on fixing the most dangerous intersection in Wilmington.
Following a Senate vote last week, $820,000 will now be made available for safety improvements at the intersection of Glen Road, Middlesex Ave. and Wildwood Street.
As part of a deal with the state, Wilmington agreed several years ago to fund the design of the new intersection while the state pays for the construction. However, after initial movement on the project, the process had remained at a stand still.
Preliminary engineering began on the project in 2007 as the town introduced multiple plans, including a roundabout proposal. Following discussion, the town opted against the roundabout and settled on a traffic light that aims to cut down on the number of crashes that happen in the area.
“The design has been sitting with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for some time, and that’s been frustrating,” said Superintendent of Public Works Don Onusseit. “They have a lot of big projects, but now we’ve finally got movement and we’re happy about that. I’m hoping we can get this to construction next spring.”
If the project is started by spring as Onusseit hopes, the superintendent said it would likely be completed by this time next year.
Before construction can begin, however, the state must hold a public hearing to discuss its plans. A tentative date has been set for September 24 during the regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting.
“The intersection of Glen Road and Middlesex Avenue is one of the most challenging and heavily traversed confluence of roadways in Wilmington, and one that town leaders have consistently identified as a priority,” said Massachusetts Senator Bruce Tarr.
Onusseit said the intersection is not only the most dangerous in Wilmington, but it also made the state’s list of dangerous intersections when data was compiled several years ago.
“We’re not looking forward to adding another traffic signal in town,” said Onusseit. “But this is a high hazard intersection and it really needs to be completed.”