April 23, 2014

Essex Selectmen Seek One Way Traffic for Connector Road at Route 9 Exit 3

ESSEX— The board of selectmen will ask the state Department of Transportation to make a small connector road near the Route 9 Exit 3 interchange one way for southbound traffic only. The board Wednesday endorsed an effort by First Selectman Norman Needleman to request the change.

The road, extending only about a quarter-mile, connects Main Street (Middlesex Avenue) to the northern end of Plains Road, and the exit 3 southbound on ramp for Route 9. It currently allows traffic both ways, creating a short cut that allows motorists to avoid a nearby traffic light at the three way intersection of Main Street, Plains Road, and West Avenue.

The change recommended by the selectmen would allow southbound traffic only on the connecter. Needleman said making a left, northbound turn on to the connector has become increasingly hazardous for motorists crossing southbound traffic on Plains Road and approaching the Route 9 ramp. He said the hazard is greater at busy times of the day. “I’m not sure if the DOT will agree with it or not, but it’s worth a try,” Needleman said.

The idea of making the connector road one way had been discussed in 2004 in relation to a proposal to build a new chain pharmacy on the nearby former L.C. Doane Company property, but the idea faded after the zoning commission denied a special permit for the pharmacy project.