State transportation officials are planning improvements on a stretch of highway in Windsor that has been the site of two fatal traffic accidents in the last decade: the intersection of routes 17 and 32, near Rideout’s Market & Grill and just south of the Windsor Fairgrounds.

The Maine Department of Transportation doesn’t expect to begin the work until March 2018, according to department spokesman Ted Talbot, but a public hearing about the upgrade is scheduled for Wednesday. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Windsor Elementary School and is an opportunity for state transportation officials to receive input about the changes.

The project’s goal is to reduce the number of accidents at that intersection, which also meets Hunts Meadow Road to the south.

Twenty crashes were reported there from 2006 to 2015, including two that were fatal, according to state data. That made the Windsor intersection one of just two locations statewide where two accidents have resulted in death in recent years, Talbot said.

Talbot was unable to provide the dates of those fatal crashes. The Kennebec Journal reported that at least three fatal accidents occurred in Windsor in 2012, one less than a mile east of that intersection on Route 17.

One of the challenges of that intersection is that it can be hard for anyone on Hunts Meadow Road to see oncoming traffic on Route 17, making it dangerous to turn onto Route 17 or continue straight onto Route 32, Windsor Town Manager Theresa Haskell said. While oncoming cars sometimes can be seen at night, when headlights are visible, it’s harder to see them during daylight.

Plus, Haskell said some drivers go too fast in that area.

Plow truck drivers “have expressed concern, and we do get occasional calls from people saying that they can’t see,” Haskell said. “We’ve been working with DOT regarding this. It’s been in the works. We’re hoping to resolve a few accidents.”

According to Maine DOT data, of the 20 accidents reported at that intersection in the last decade, seven resulted from someone not yielding to oncoming traffic, two resulted from someone driving faster than the speed limit and two resulted from a driver following too closely behind another car. Other mistakes that reportedly led to accidents were drivers passing and turning improperly and failing to stay in the appropriate lane.

More than half the accidents happened in daylight, and one reportedly involved ice on the road.

As part of a safety audit of the Windsor intersection, transportation officials have consulted with local officials and first responders, as well as a nearby business owner, Talbot said. Several recommendations came out of that audit and have been incorporated into proposed upgrades.

Among those recommendations was that a raised traffic island should be removed to create room for left turn lanes and to shift the southbound lanes of Route 17 so that traffic is more visible to drivers leaving Hunts Meadow Road.

The audit also recommended shortening the northbound right turn lane, which originally was designed as a truck climbing lane but eventually was converted into a turn lane. The lane was never shortened, though, and transportation officials think that excessive length has led drivers to go faster in that area.

The state has contracted with South Portland design firm Gorrill Palmer for the project, Talbot said.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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