State presents proposal to ease Faunce Corner Road traffic snarls
State officials have presented what they consider a road map to ease traffic congestion in the area of Route 6 and Faunce Corner Road, a portion of the road that has been the subject of much discussion through the years by residents and officials.
Moving the Tucker Road traffic light by 100 feet and synchronizing lights from Faunce Corner Road to Hathaway Road would help ease congestion in that area of Route 6, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said at a public hearing on the proposal held March 29 at Town Hall.
These changes will also result in safer driving conditions, state officials said.
But not all residents in attendance supported the plan. Some residents and town officials have advocated for making a direct connection between Hathaway Road and Tucker Road by forming a four-way intersection.
“This preferred alternative to me is a watered-down version of what we really had originally and it would have worked marvelously. This is not going to work. We are going to have troubles, and I can foresee it today,” Stanley Mickelson, a member of the Select Board, who noted that he was speaking as a private citizen and not as an elected official.
Moving the road has been deemed too expensive, in part because the work would require taking Route 6 properties currently occupied to connect the two roads. By doing this, the current dog leg from Hathaway Road to Tucker Road would be eliminated.
Engineer and traffic specialist Bob Clinton described the proposal of tightening up Tucker Road and Route 6 as a “win-win” because turns onto Tucker Road would be shorter, which would reduce waiting time at the traffic light.
This also allows an additional 100 feet for cars to wait for a light change, which would potentially keep them from backing up into the Faunce Corner Road intersection, Clinton said.
As a consequence of this design, left turns would no longer be allowed from Champion Terrace onto Route 6.
Building a new bridge over the Paskamanset River, creating wider sidewalks and adding bike lanes are also part of the proposed project.
Lorri-Ann Miller, a former long-time Planning Board member, criticized the plan and said she preferred the original
“This project is totally not what we were fighting for. It is just not,’’ she said. “The best thing to do would be to do that intersection at Hathaway Road and put it through. I understand it’s money but somewhere somehow is money worth more than lives?”
Ron DiPippo, a retired mechanical engineering professor from UMass Dartmouth, expressed some misgivings with the proposal.
“My concern is really this: you have two control signals now, and it’s always messed up. You’re going to add another control signal. Which in principle might solve the problem but probably will create even more problems that you didn’t anticipate.”
The plan as it was presented is estimated to cost $10.5 million. Eighty percent will be paid for with federal money and 20 percent coming from Massachusetts state funding, with no cost to the town, transportation officials said.
The project has a tentative construction start date of spring 2025 and is estimated to take two and half years to complete, officials said.
Another hearing on the issue and potential revisions to the plan will be held in the future, officials said.
Comments about the project can be sent to: MassDOTProjectManagement@dot.state.ma.us.