The town is inviting Old Orchard Beach residents to log on or call into an online public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9 on the Halfway intersection. Courtesy image

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — The town of Old Orchard Beach is encouraging residents interested in the “Halfway” intersection to log on or dial in to an online meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Halfway is somewhat of a landmark in town, and is comprised of the area where Old Salt Road, Ocean Park Road, Old Orchard Beach Road, Temple Avenue and Saco Avenue come together.

It can be difficult to navigate for some, particularly during heavy traffic periods. Improving the Halfway intersection has been discussed for several years; it is considered a high crash area by the Maine Department of Transportation. MDOT records show there were 20 crashes there in 2019, resulting in seven injuries.

The engineering firm Gorrill Palmer of South Portland is in the midst of conducting a safety and mobility assessment of the intersection, said Assistant Town Planner Michael Foster. The company will share information to date and gather feedback at the Dec. 9 public meeting.

The study was scheduled to start in the spring but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The new date for a final study report from Gorrill Palmer is in February.

People may join the Zoom meeting by logging onto: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85063828423 using Meeting ID: 850 6382 8423, or by finding a local call-in number at: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kd3ND1VxiS

Public comment for the informational meeting may be submitted to Foster by email at [email protected] or Michael Foster, 1 Portland Ave., Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064, prior to Dec. 9.

In 2005, the Maine Department of Transportation recommended a roundabout at the intersection, and residents approved $200,000 for initial work on the project in 2008, according to a  story in the now-defunct Journal Tribune. The town’s obligation for the $3.4 million project was pegged then at $1.1 million. The Town Council voted to drop the project a year later.

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