Temporary traffic calming measures will be installed next week at the Halfway Intersection in Old Orchard Beach. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Motorists at the Halfway Intersection in Old Orchard Beach will soon notice some changes as the town tests out some temporary traffic calming measures.

The Halfway Intersection is located where Ocean Park Road, Old Orchard Beach Road, Old Salt Road, Temple Avenue and Saco Avenue all meet.

The intersection has long been a topic of conversation when addressing traffic concerns, and was deemed as a “high traffic area” by a 2005 Maine Department of Transportation study.

Not quite a rotary, the intersection is difficult to explain, and by those unfamiliar to the area, difficult to navigate as well. Depending on what direction one travels, a driver going through the circle may have to yield at multiple points or choose from one of two lanes.

Traffic issues at the Halfway Intersection and surrounding area was a top concern among respondents to a survey administered last year by local group Old Orchard Beach Community Friendly Connection, according to Pat Brown and Helene Whittaker, members of the community group.

Reconstructing the area to build a traffic roundabout would cost several millions of dollars and is not feasible, said Town Manager Larry Mead.

The town is working with the Maine Department of Transportation and Bicycle Coalition of Maine to create a demonstration project that would make some temporary changes in roadways and walkways in the Halfway Intersection and in the nearby area of the intersection of Ocean Park Road and Smithwheel Avenue.

The changes will be made in the upcoming week, and will use bollards, or temporary short posts, and striping to better define cross walks and redefine and narrow traffic lanes to slow down motorists.

“It’ll be a noticeable change,” said Mead.

The changes will be up through Labor Day.

“This truly is an experiment,” said Brown, and the town wants to hear what local motorists think of the temporary changes.

If the traffic calming measures are successful, they will be incorporated into road work scheduled for the area in the fall, said Mead.

Comments or suggestions regarding the traffic demonstration can be sent to [email protected].

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected].

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