Herbst talks routes 111, 25 improvements

A design plan that could potentially improve a busy intersection of Route 111 has been drawn up by the state and given to the town, according to Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst.

Herbst sent out a press release last week, giving an update concerning ongoing meetings and planning for improvements to the Route 111 intersection that is in close proximity to the commercial shopping center that now houses the The Edge, Chip’s, Prime 111 and other retail businesses.

As a follow-up to his initial report to residents in March, Herbst said the Connecticut Department of Transportation has presented to the Town of Trumbull a preliminary design plan that will realign the entrance of the shopping plaza, along with a new four-way intersection.

“The design proposed by the state will create a four-way intersection at Old Mine Road, with a traffic light that will help to calm traffic and guarantee safe egress into the center,” he said. “This will include adding a short road opposite Old Mine Road to provide access to the center, and potentially to the condominium development in the rear of the property. The Trumbull Engineering Department is currently evaluating the feasibility of the State’s preliminary design.”

Herbst also noted that the state Department of Transportation has identified potential funding sources for a portion of this work. The town is also exploring other potential funding sources for the remaining portions. Some private funding will be required.

“In my capacity as the chairman of the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments, I intend to work with our executive director, Brian Bidoli, to see if there are any grant or external funding opportunities that we might be able to take advantage of that would assist us in supplementing some of the costs associated with this construction, so as not to adversely place this burden on Trumbull taxpayers,” he said.

Other short-term solutions can be implemented as soon as possible, he said.

“Given the complex nature of this potential situation and relatively high cost, the Town of Trumbull has also asked the state Department of Transportation to review an interim plan to increase the awareness of the location of the current Pequonnock River Trail Crossing,” he said. “The state has performed the review, provided comments and indicated that any short-term improvements would have to be funded at the local level.”

More than a year ago, resident Marty Isaac started an online petition, urging officials to fix the intersection because of safety concerns. The discussion has also included concerns about pedestrians crossing in that area from a nearby trail. The petition has since closed but received 476 signatures.

Last June, the state did a traffic study of the area, which supported and recommended a new traffic light near the plaza.

Improving the Route 111/shopping center intersection was also a topic mentioned by Town Council Democrat Vicki Tesoro recently, when she announced she will be running against Herbst in November.

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