Crosswalks will be placed at the intersections of Johnson Road and Route 88 and Depot Road and Route 88. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

Work to install crosswalks at the dangerous Route 88 intersections with Johnson and Depot roads in Falmouth could begin this spring or summer, according to Town Manager Nathan Poore.

Two crosswalks will be installed at each of the intersections, both of which have been designated as “high collision locations” by the Maine Department of Transportation. One crosswalk will run across Johnson Road parallel to Route 88 and another will cross Route 88, connecting Johnson Road and Town Landing Road. At Depot Road, a crosswalk will run parallel to Route 88 and the other will cross over it at Skillins Crossing.

This rendering shows the planned Johnson Road and Route 88 crosswalks. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

The $200,000 project also calls for a sidewalk to be built on Route 88 between Depot Road and Skillins Crossing.

The project is expected to take about three weeks to complete, according to Assistant Director of Public Works and Town Engineer Justin Early.

“Installing crosswalks is not just striping the crosswalk and putting paint down and installing signs,” Early said. “A lot goes into designing crosswalks as far as making them safe for everyone. That includes ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements, so making them safe for people in wheelchairs and the visually impaired, doing all those design requirements.”

Traffic impact will be minimal, Early said, because it is unlike any of the roads will need to be shut down.

The town also is considering putting flashing beacons for the two crosswalks that will run across Route 88, which is an alternative to putting a four-way stop at both intersections.

This rendering shows the planned Depot Road, Skillins Crossing and Route 88 crosswalks and sidewalk. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

Poore said the need to address the safety issues of the intersections has been discussed by the town for well over 10 years. The town has spent the last two years gathering input at two public forums. About 50 people attended the first forum in December 2019 and 36 people attended the second forum in September 2020 over Zoom.

Nine crashes occurred at the Johnson Road intersection between 2016 and 2018, which meets the state’s threshold for a dangerous area. According to Falmouth Police Department data,  there were four car collisions there in 2017, three in 2018, one in 2019, none in 2020 and two so far this year.

The Depot Road intersection had two crashes in 2017, one in 2018, one in 2019, none in 2020 and one so far this year.

Before construction can begin, the Town Council needs to authorize the funding, Poore said.

“We’re going to try to fill this into our capital improvement plan. That’ll probably happen at a November (council) meeting. After it’s funded, we’ll start with final design and hopefully be ready for construction in 2022,” he said.

The sidewalk is expected to cost $42,000, the Depot Road crossing will cost $26,000, the Skillins Crossing crosswalk will cost $32,000 and the Johnson Road/Town Landing Road crosswalks total $100,000. Contingency factors were included in the estimates.

“At this level of engineering there’s about a 20 percent contingency, meaning there may be some type of complication,” Poore said. “Once we get final engineering, those estimates will be further refined and contingency amounts will be adjusted.”

The goal is to solicit bids for project between January and March 2022 and then begin construction in the spring or summer, he said.

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