The Maine Department of Transportation plans a public meeting on Tuesday about the installation of rumble strips along a five-mile stretch of U.S. Route 202 in Winthrop.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall on Highland Avenue.
Installation of rumble strips along the center line of the road is intended to reduce the number of head-on crashes. The Department of Transportation has already installed rumble strips along eight corridors around the state and has identified the stretch of U.S. 202 in Winthrop as having a high rate of head-on crashes.
The noise and vibrations caused by driving on the rumble strips could alert a distracted, sleepy or impaired driver who is about to cross into the oncoming lane.
U.S. 202 in Winthrop, which has a speed limit as high as 55 mph in some places, has been the site of several fatal crashes over the years. Rumble strips would be installed from a point about three-quarters of a mile west of the Manchester-Winthrop town line, which is near Erin Way, to the intersection at Old Lewiston Road and Annabessacook Road.
Just in March, there were at least six serious crashes on U.S. 202 in Winthrop and Monmouth, including two fatal head-on crashes. One of the fatal crashes was near Horseshoe Road in Winthrop, but the other was in Monmouth, outside the zone where rumble strips would be installed.
The Department of Transportation installed rumble strips in two locations in 2006, three in 2011 and three in 2013. According to the department, crashes have been reduced by 50 percent in the two locations where the strips were installed in 2006, and there have been no fatalities in any of the eight corridors.