Changes are coming for a narrow underpass prone to speeding.
Starting June 1st Shelburne will test out roadside improvements to the Bay Road Underpass as a pilot project. It’s all part of the town’s bigger plan to make the Bay Road corridor safer for all travelers.
The road beneath the underpass is only 20 feet wide, a tight squeeze for compact cars let alone trucks.
“There’s consistently been concerns about the entire Bay Road area and bridge underpass because it’s narrow,” says Shelburne Town Manager, Joe Colangelo.
There is also a problem with speed. The speed limit in the area is 35 miles per hour. Some people slow down and others not so much.
“We’re going to do what we can to reduce speed and make this a one way underpass,” says Colangelo.
He says two stop signs will be put up, one on both sides of the bridge. Road crews will also use white paint to help narrow the road’s shoulders.
“That will create safe travel on either side so one car at a time can go through,” says Colangelo.
The need for upgrades is in the police calls.
“We get complaints probably at least once a month if not more of speeding in that area,” says Sgt. Allen Fortin of the Shelburne Police Dept.
The Shelburne Police department says the calls and close calls spike in the summer months.
The town says widening the bridge is not an option since it’s owned by the railway.
While the current fix isn’t permanent, it makes sense right now, with about a $500 dollar price tag.
“We are going to see how it goes for 5-6 months and if it works out great we’ll continue doing it, if it doesn’t seem to be the appropriate solution we can try something else.”
Over the last five years, Shelburne police say they’ve responded to two motor accidents involving the Bay Rd. underpass, neither which were fatal.