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PHOTO — West Haven Public Works Commissioner Tom J. McCarthy, left, and Mayor Nancy R. Rossi look on as a crew from Laydon Industries LLC of New Haven works to widen the existing truck apron at the Oyster River roundabout Tuesday, Sept. 15. The work is part of a state Department of Transportation project to upgrade the roundabout at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
WEST HAVEN, Sept. 16, 2020 — The state Department of Transportation has begun work to upgrade the Oyster River roundabout at routes 162 and 705 in the city’s Baybrook section.
The $367,214 project calls for upgrading the existing roundabout, or traffic circle, at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue to current design standards for accommodating larger trucks, DOT project manager Michael Rosenblatt said.
According to the DOT, during the roundabout’s original design, a midsize tractor-trailer was the standard design vehicle for state arterial roads. But shortly after the roundabout’s construction more than a decade ago, national changes in the trucking industry prompted the DOT to change its regulations and increase the size of the standard design vehicle on state arterial roads because of technical advances in the industry and gradual acceptance of larger trucks by many states.
In addition to trucks, up to 8,100 vehicles per day pass through the busy roundabout, according to the DOT.
“The roundabout has required constant maintenance in recent years and will be upgraded with more durable materials,” Rosenblatt said.
The project includes expanding the existing truck apron, installing landscaping in the center island and replacing damaged concrete curbing along the outer perimeter with granite, as well as repaving the roundabout.
New Haven-based contractor Laydon Industries LLC is doing the work, which is expected to last through Oct. 19, DOT Chief Inspector Dominik Jankowski said.
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, who toured the project site with Public Works Commissioner Tom J. McCarthy on Tuesday, Sept. 15, said the state-funded project was designed in collaboration with neighborhood residents and business owners at two meetings in late 2019 and was fast-tracked by state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven.
Rossi noted that the roundabout’s center island is an area designated under the city’s new Adopt-A-Spot program. The program, approved by the City Council on Monday, Sept. 14, allows residents and businesses to adopt and beautify areas around West Haven.
To improve safety and relieve traffic congestion at the intersection of Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue, the first modern roundabout built on a state road was constructed there in 2007, reducing the total crash rate by 45% and injury-related crashes by 60%, according to statistics provided by the DOT.
West Haven Public Works Commissioner Tom J. McCarthy, left, and Mayor Nancy R. Rossi look on as a crew from Laydon Industries LLC of New Haven works to widen the existing truck apron at the Oyster River roundabout Tuesday, Sept. 15. The work is part of a state Department of Transportation project to upgrade the roundabout at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)