A traffic study has proposed changes to the intersection of Garfield Street and Route 112 in Saco. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

SACO — On Thursday night, Saco’s Traffic Safety Committee will be reviewing some proposed short-term recommendations from a recent transportation study that if implemented would impact Route 112 and some of the intersecting streets.

The city of Saco partnered with the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority last year on a Route 112/Exit 36 area transportation study to find possible solutions to traffic congestion that has long been a problem for those traveling on Route 112 and the intersecting Industrial Park Road to the I-195 spur.

The area is a highly traveled during morning and afternoon commute times when people are traveling to or from the highway and also during school pick-up and drop-off times.

Nearly 20,000 cars travel through the corridor each day on average, including more than 18,000 that use Industrial Park Road, according to information from MDOT reported by the Portland Press Herald.

A final report containing short-term and long-term recommendations was released in July by infrastructure services firm T. Y. Lin International and can be found at https://www.sacomaine.org/departments/administration/route_112.php.

The three short-term recommendations from the study will be reviewed on Thursday by the traffic safety committee, a city committee comprised of two members of the City Council, the police chief, fire chief, public works director and city administrator, which meets about 10 times a year. No final decisions will be made Thursday night, and all proposals will go through further review by the city.

Thursday night’s meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The city has notified property owners in the impacted area, and residents are encouraged to attend, said Deputy Police Chief Corey Huntress.

Those who can’t make Thursday night’s meeting but would like to give input can contact Huntress at [email protected] or call 282-8214.

“Citizens can still have a voice even if they can’t attend the meeting,” said Huntress.

One of the three recommended improvements that will be discussed on Thursday, if implemented, would cost $90,000 and make changes to the intersection of Garfield Street and Route 112, according to the report.

Garfield Street is a residential street that is often used by motorists to get to Route 5 from Route 112, and according to the report, the intersection of Garfield Street and Route 112 is considered a high crash location.

The intersection had the most critical accidents of all locations on the Route 112 and Industrial Park Avenue corridors in a three-year period, and many of the crashes occurred when a driver failed to yield to southbound traffic while taking a northbound left-hand turn out of Garfield onto Route 112.

The proposed Garfield Street intersection change would prohibit left hand turns from Garfield Street to Route 112 and would also prohibit left hand turns from Route 112 onto Garfield Street. The proposed project would include the installation of a raised island on Garfield Street to channel traffic and an island on Route 112, according to the report.

This proposal could divert traffic to other neighborhood streets and a local traffic monitoring and management plan is recommended to be included in the proposal.

The two other short-term recommended improvements that will be discussed on Thursday night are proposals that call for the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Route 112 and Franklin Street and at the intersection of Route 112 and Jenkins Road.

The proposal for the intersection of Route 112 and Franklin Street would cost $570,000 and in addition to a traffic light would include the provisions to accommodate vehicle turns to General Dynamics and Central Fire Station from Route 112 and a left hand turn lane onto Franklin Street from Route 112.

The suggested project for the intersection of Route 112 and Jenkins Road would cost $820,000 and would include construction of a dedicated turn lane on Route 112, widening Jenkins Road to accommodate right and left turn lanes and implementation of access management improvements at the Hillview Market.

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

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