DOT looks to improve safety in three 481 intersections in Oswego County
After dozens of accidents and countless close calls over the years, state Department of Transportation officials are considering several options to improve safety at three intersections on Route 481 in Oswego County. Tuesday night the public was given the opportunity to weigh in on those plans. Our Candace Hopkins has the details from Volney.
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VOLNEY, N.Y. -- These three intersections, located where Route 481 meets Churchill Road and Route 57 in Scriba, and Route 45 in Volney, have caught the attention of state DOT officials.
"These intersections up on 481, the speed limits are relatively high, and the intersections themselves don't meet up with 481 at ninety degree angles," said NYS DOT Region 3 Public Information Officer Gene Cilento.
Which means drivers have limited visibility, making it difficult to turn onto 481 or to drive across the busy highway.
"Looking over your shoulder you may see vehicles coming right away, or you may not be able to see the vehicle that's coming, that you should be seeing," said Cilento.
Now plans are underway to modify the intersections in hopes of improving safety. Where 481 meets Churchill Road and nearby at Route 57 in Scriba, there are four options available. They include widening 481, realigning Churchill Road, removing westbound access to Churchill Road, or combining the realignment option with closing off the westbound access.
For the third intersection, where 481 meets Route 45 in Volney, officials want to realign Route 45 and level out the intersection.
Tuesday night, DOT officials held an open house, where drivers shared their own experiences in these areas.
Residents Cindy and Anthony Gorea shared their thoughts on the project.
"The people who are speaking are probably the people that are driving through those intersections most of the time, I'm sure the state people aren't driving through there all the time," said Anthony Gorea.
"Crossing Route 45 for me is extremely dangerous, it has taken at least one life that I know of, and I'm sure injured a lot of people too," said Cindy Gorea.
Officials say first-hand accounts of the problems are crucial in making repairs.
"Public comment, the local comment may sway us into going one way or another, and then we'll go from there," said Cilento.
DOT officials say the next step in this process is to begin analyzing the driver feedback they've received during this open house, and from there, use that information to help begin the final planning for modifying these three intersections.
Officials say if the projects stay on schedule, the construction should begin in 2014.