Project underway to make Burnside Avenue safer - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Project underway to make Burnside Avenue safer

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Project underway to make Burnside Avenue safer (WFSB) Project underway to make Burnside Avenue safer (WFSB)
EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A major project is underway in East Hartford to make an accident-plagued road safer.

There have been numerous crashes on Burnside Avenue and the plan is to reduce lanes to make it safer for those walking and riding bicycles.

Burnside Avenue has four lanes of traffic and it can be dangerous for those trying to cross the street.

People have died on the road, and the project could stop that from happening.

"Unfortunate in terms of the records on this stretch of road - that drove us into this particular solution,” said DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker.

The Department of Transportation’s plan is to spend nearly $4 million to reduce the four lanes of traffic to two, add more bike lanes and more turnouts for buses.

"This road behind us has a sorry accident history -- it has two lanes in either direction, and a relatively urban environment,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Just this past April, an 8-year-old boy was playing ball when he was struck and killed by a car.

Over the years, hundreds of people have been injured walking and riding their bikes.

Burnside Avenue had to be closed in 2011 when a man on his bike was killed.

Since January, there have been 114 crashes. Last year there were 179 crashes and the year before that there were nearly 200.

Chris Squires, of CT Bike Walk, has been pushing for more bike lanes. He said more people are using their bikes to get around and to work and it is important that they are safe.

"This a major to do - we have had five cyclists die on this road so this is a big wake up call for the state,” Squires said.

The project has already started and includes a roughly 2-mile stretch of Burnside Avenue. No date has been set on when it will be completed.

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