The public can attend an online meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. June 17 where the results of a study into how to make the Halfway intersection in Old Orchard Beach safer will be revealed and discussed. Courtesy Photo/Town of Old Orchard Beach

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Those who drive through what is locally called the Halfway intersection in Old Orchard Beach in the summer know how difficult it can be because of the amount of traffic.

Hoping to mitigate that problem, a 2020 study on how to improve the Halfway intersection was conducted and the results are in.

The town of Old Orchard Beach is inviting the public to an online informational meeting with engineers Gorrill Palmer at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 17 to hear various alternatives the firm plans to outline. The project is a collaborative effort with the Maine Department of Transportation.

The study began in July 2020. According to an Old Orchard Beach news release, the scope of work included the evaluation of safety and mobility improvements for all transportation modes at the busy intersection.

The Halfway intersection is a landmark in town, and is 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, particularly during heavy traffic periods. 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.

Improving the Halfway intersection has been discussed for several years, and a prior study was conducted in 2005, where a rotary was recommended, but was not pursued. This time, according to the news release, the purpose of the assessment was to identify a range of alternatives that could be implemented to improve the intersection safety and mobility for all modes of transportation — vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle — now and for the future.

Public comment for the informational meeting may be submitted to the Assistant Town Planner, Michael Foster, by email: [email protected] or by regular mail: Attn: Michael Foster, 1 Portland Ave., Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064, prior to June 17.

Instructions for joining the meeting are at: https://www.oobmaine.com/home/bulletins/halfway-intersection-safety-mobility-assessment-public-informational-zoom-meeting-2

A recording of the meeting will be posted to the town of Old Orchard Beach website after June 17.

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