A dangerous stretch of Route 66 in Portland will see another safety improvement in the coming weeks.
The road, which is a major corridor, has seen several crashes in recent years, but a pilot program has the hopes to curb that trend.
"I'm on a bad corner where cars constantly go off the edge of the road. Sometimes I wait five, ten minutes to get out into (Route) 66,” said Roger Badin of Portland.
Henry Starbala drives on Route 66 every day, and he said there are a lot of blind corners.
"Say you're coming out of a driveway and a lot of these blind corners, by the time you get your nose out of the car, the car is already screeching up behind you,” Starbala said.
In 2013, there were two deadly crashes on the section known as “The Ledges,” which is flanked by stone on either side of the road.
According to First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield, the stretch will soon be lit up with LED lights, thanks to a program through Eversource.
"You will be able to see that there is a change in the street lighting in this area of ‘The Ledges,’ and my hope is that as drivers approach this area, they will not only be able to see better, but they will be more alert,” Bransfield said.
She added that 50 of the street lights will be replaced with the LED lights. Eversource will pay for the replacement and the town will foot the bill for the electricity.
"Not only do you see improved safety, better visibility, better maintenance, cost, but you also see a reduction in the actual fees that will come to the town,” Bransfield said.
She added that the road has already been outfitted with more signs and rumble strips.
She hopes the next step will be a more long term solution.
"As first selectwoman, I'm aware of the realities of funding of this type of project, and I would give my whole-hearted support and encouragement to the state and specifically to the Department of Transportation to see if they can schedule this widening of the road,” Bransfield said.
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