Cars wait at one of the four intersections in the Cumberland Mills area. It is not uncommon to see cars backed up even farther at this intersection. Chance Viles / American Journal

WESTBROOK — The City Council gave preliminary approval Monday to increase by $227,507 the city’s contribution to the Cumberland Mills intersection road improvement project.

The city’s share is now $646,507, up from initial projections because labor costs have risen since the project was first decided, city officials said. State and federal funding also will increase to cover the bulk of the more than $2.1 million project, which will include repaving and new traffic signals and signs.

The state has identified the site, a triangle with four intersections, where Harnois Avenue, Warren Avenue, Cumberland Street and Main Street converge, as a “High Crash Location” in need of work. Pairing state and federal funds on top of the local contribution, Westbrook hopes the project will begin shortly after all adjusted funding numbers are approved.

“The intersection of Warren Avenue and Cumberland Street is a High Crash Location,” said Eric Dudley, director of Engineering and Public Services. “At one point in time, it was considered the second-worst intersection in the state. I’m not sure where it stands today, but we continue to see a high volume of crashes at the intersection. Between the years of 2016 and 2019 there have been 81 crashes at that location per MaineDOT statistics.”

An average of 15,275 vehicles travel on Main Street per day, 9,783 on Cumberland Street, 16,467 on Harnois Avenue, and 9,094 on Warren Avenue, making for congested intersections.

The project aims to mitigate the congestion and prevent accidents.

“While the area will be resurfaced, the majority of the project will focus on the addition of signs and signals, with some painting as well,” City Administrator Jerre Bryant said at the meeting.

While mild delays may take place during the construction, traffic will continue through the intersections as normal, with no rerouting around the area.

The City Council will take a final vote on its updated contribution to the project at its next meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Westbrook High School.

The Cumberland Mills intersections have a lot of car accidents, which officials hope will be curbed by new lane paint and signals. Chance Viles / American Journal

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