The state Department of Transportation is proposing changing a four-lane section of U.S. Route 2 — also called Wilton Road — in Farmington into two travel lanes, a middle lane for making left turns and a breakdown lane on each side of the road.

The DOT has scheduled a public informational meeting for later this month in Farmington on the plan, which is intended to make the stretch of Wilton Road from Bridge Street to Franklin Memorial Hospital safer. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 17 at the Farmington Community Center. Town Manager Richard Davis said he expects the meeting to be well attended and said anyone with an interest in the plans, such as a commuter who drives that length of road, is invited to attend.

After the informational meeting, Davis said, selectmen can decide whether to approve the changes and ask the state to go ahead with the project.

On Feb. 26, the Farmington Transportation Advisory Committee and Maine Department of Transportation officials reviewed a study of the road, which found that from 2011 to 2013, there were 36 crashes between the hospital and Wal-Mart. There were 122 crashes between Wal-Mart and Bridge Street during the same period. Of those crashes, 59 involved injury.

“There’s a longstanding perception that the road is dangerous,” Davis said.

A list of typical crashes included sideswipes that resulted from frequent and sudden lane changes, rear-end crashes involving vehicles stopped in the inside travel lane and angle crashes caused by crossing the four-lane intersection or turning left.

The study also found a lack of area to pull off the road safely during emergencies or breakdowns, and there was not enough room for cyclists to ride on the side of the road.

The project would be funded by the state. If the transportation agency goes forward with the project, it could be included in a $2.9 million construction project planned for 2016 or 2017.

Davis said the cost to the town would be minimal, which could include the town needing to buy traffic cameras at some of the intersections to sense traffic and signal the light to change.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

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