Historic Sudbury Town Center intersection project is nearly ready for public bidding. Temporary measures have reduced the frequent traffic light failures over the last several months, however, the proposed improvements to the intersection of Concord Road, Hudson Road and Old Sudbury Road go far beyond a temporary fix to the problems that have plagued the intersection for many years. The goal of the project is to increase safety in the intersection, while retaining the historic character of the area. This is no easy feat, as modern day engineering requirements call for wide, straight lanes, excessive signage, and turning radii to accommodate the largest trucks. With the constant review and advice of the Town Center Improvement Advisory Committee, the plans for the project take into consideration Sudbury’s desire to minimize the size of the intersection while still making it safer. The project includes new signals that will be responsive to traffic demand in the off-peak hours, changing more frequently when traffic levels are low in any direction and detecting when emergency vehicles are in the vicinity. The lanes will be better aligned to avoid confusion going through the intersection. Dedicated left turn signals will move traffic through the intersection more quickly. Small details such as height of curbing, the crosswalk materials, the addition of walkways and stone walls will enhance the appearance of the area. Drainage will be installed in the project area to reduce scouring and erosion of the shoulders and abutting properties. One detail of the project which has been changed since the preliminary design plans involves the use of 1 signal mast arm to replace 3 vertical mounted posts. The use of the mast arm reduces the width and complexity of the intersection, and was discussed and approved by the Selectmen as an acceptable alternative.
The Town has been working on the plans for the intersection for several years. A lengthy public process involving many residents, several town meeting votes and several consultant teams has been on-going. The 2013 Annual Town Meeting and an election in June of 2013 authorized funding for the project, which will consist of approximately $1 million from Chapter 90 road paving funds, and $700,000 from taxation. Once funds were secured, final engineering plans were prepared and a final cost estimate established, which is slightly higher than the original estimate (by $150,000). Unfortunately, construction costs have soared since the end of the recession. However, the project will be put out to competitive bid, and the lowest price from a responsive contractor will be awarded. If the price comes in higher than $1.7 million, the Town will use additional Chapter 90 funds to complete the project.
The new intersection will accommodate the traffic in this very busy area for another 50 years or more, and will make the Town Center historic area much safer and more pleasant to visit. Construction has already begun with the rebuilding of the stone walls at the street corners. The construction schedule will be finalized once the contract is awarded in late August. We anticipate the entire project to take approximately 12 months to complete.
To learn more on the history of the process visit Sudbury Centre Intersection Improvement Project