Middlesex County construction project causing concerns - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Middlesex County construction project causing concerns

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MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

A construction project in Middlesex County is causing concern among business owners and local leaders.

The Department of Transportation is replacing a bridge on Route 147 in Middlefield, and the issue is how the traffic backup may impact a busy fall season the region banks on.

Cars are crawling through the construction zone along Route 147 single file, and John Lyman is worried about how the lengthy project, specifically one lane, alternating traffic will affect potential customers.

"Our business is concentrated September through October," Lyman, of Lyman Orchards, said. "We've got nine weeks that are busy. Forty percent of our business occurs during that time, so we're very concerned that if the traffic gets bogged down, gridlock, it might create people to make different choices."

The other big concern with the construction project and how it will impact traffic is the area's other big draw each fall, The Durham Fair, which takes place the last weekend in September.

"Some of the ideas are having troopers at Cherry Hill and Miller Road during the fair itself," Ravi Chandran, of the Department of Transportation said. "Also there is a project the town is contemplating on Miller Road. We'd ask them to look at the timing of it to make sure it's not going to impact the traffic flow during this peak period."

The DOT said it's also considering using road signs during the peak fall months to alert drivers to alternate routes in the area.

All sides said coming up with a plan that keeps traffic moving is an important piece because it's going to be a lengthy project. The new bridge won't be completed until April 2015.

"We're real pleased with how the meeting went with all the concerns that are on the table and I'm sure that we can work it out," Lyman said.

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