Make some noise: Hearing on state plan for ‘rumble strips’ for local roads
Updated 11:31 am, Friday, September 4, 2015
Rumble strips have become a familiar sight — or rather, sound — on the state’s highways. Now, the state Department of Transportation is preparing a pilot program that would install rumble strips down the centerline of roads around the state.
According to the DOT, the project will include about 150 miles of centerline rumble strips on state roads and about 50 miles on selected local roads.
In Fairfield, the state plans to install the strips on Route 58, or Black Rock Turnpike, from the Merritt Parkway to Route 136, as well as Congress Street.
A public hearing on the project will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Burr Elementary School, 1960 Burr St.
The rumble strips, now found along shoulders of state highways, are designed to alert drivers through noise and vibration should a vehicle veer off the road. The centerline strips would do the same should a motorist veer into the opposite lane of approaching traffic, according to proponents.
According to the DOT, rumble strips are a proven safety measure that minimizes the number of collisions.
“We have been in consultation with the state,” Police Chief Gary MacNamara said. “This is a pilot program that the state is undertaking at no cost to the town.”
The centerline rumble strips, MacNamara said, will be installed on state roads where the state has identified as potentially benefitting from the measure. Though MacNamara said he is not sure there have been a significant number of accidents on the two roads in Fairfield caused by motorists crossing over the center line into oncoming traffic, “The state is looking to make some roads a little safer.”
Meeting with the community, he said, is an opportunity to identify residents’ concerns about any issues, like noise.
Construction on the $2.2 million project is expected to begin in spring of 2016 based on the availability of funding. It is anticipated that the project will be funded 100 percent with federal dollars, according to the DOT.
More detailed information is available at the DOT Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike in Newington, from Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., excluding holidays. Project information is also available for review at the town’s Engineering Department in Sullivan-Independence Hall.