An intersection in Southington that’s a notorious trouble spot for crashes could get even busier if a new plan goes through shortly.
There’s a plan to extend the popular Rails to Trails path across two busy Curtiss and Hart streets and some living in the area said that will put more people in harm’s way.
Eyewitness News looked into how the town plans to fix the problem.
Charles Chapman lives near the intersection of Curtiss and Hart streets. In 2014, a drunk driver crashed through part of his house.
“I was right inside the house, so they sheered the front porch off,” Chapman said. “I was literally inches away.”
Chapman said the sightlines for those coming from Kane and Curtiss street were tough and many drivers ignore the two posted stop signs.
Right now, the trail ends at Kane street, there are plans to extend it past Kane and Curtiss streets. It means people going down the trail, once it’s done, would have to go over two streets and there is a concern there over their safety.
“It's a safety issue for both vehicles that go through the intersection and also the trail,” Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said.
There have been three crashes at that intersection in the last three years with two in 2013 and one in 2014.
Public Works Director Keith Hayden created a way to fix this issue and extend the trail.
“By making it a three-way stop and putting a crosswalk in the area protected by the three stop signs, we feel it makes it a lot safer for the trail crossing,” Hayden said.
But, the town is waiting on state funding that was frozen late last year.
“If that unfreezes then we will use that money to do this intersection,” Brumback said. “If not, we'll have to look somewhere else because it’s a safety issue and it’s important to us.”
The funding would cost more than $300,000 to revamp the intersection. Southington officials said they won’t know if they’ll receive the money until June or July. Brumback said the trail won’t be lengthened until the intersection is altered.
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