Trumbull traffic light approved after years of ‘close calls’

Photo of Amanda Cuda
The state DOT has approved plans to install a traffic light at the shopping plaza that includes an Edge Fitness Club and Prime One-Eleven.

The state DOT has approved plans to install a traffic light at the shopping plaza that includes an Edge Fitness Club and Prime One-Eleven.

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

TRUMBULL — Long-awaited changes to the Pequonnock River Trail crossing on Route 111 — including a traffic light at a busy intersection in the area — could be in place by late fall, according to a town official.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro announced Thursday that the project has won final approval from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and construction will go to bid in the coming weeks. Town engineer William Mauer said he’s in the process of putting together the bid and, if all goes smoothly, the project could be complete by late fall.

The project includes the installation of a traffic light at the commercial plaza housing a number of businesses including Prime One Eleven and Edge Fitness Club. The trail will be redirected to that light and a new crosswalk will be installed. Mauer said traffic is heavy in that area and has caused problems in the past.

“We’ve had numerous close calls there,” he said. “(The light) will improve that intersection.”

Philip DiGennaro, owner of the shopping center, said he’s “thrilled” about the plans to add the traffic light at the plaza.

“When we originally built and planned the center around 2013, we asked for a light, because we saw this as a very busy center and a very successful center,” he said.

DiGennaro said it can be difficult to get in and out of the center, particularly during morning and evening rush hours.

“This is going to really make it a much safer place, for sure,” he said.

Additional improvements to the trail connection into Old Mine Park will also be made. A$1.6 million grant from the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program will cover the construction and equipment costs.

In a news release, Tesoro praised the approval, which she said had been a “top priority” of hers for a while.

“While the town had made some short term improvements to the existing crossing, the situation remained less than optimal,” she said. “Trail users will now be able to follow the trail to a safe cross walk at a traffic light. The project will also improve the traffic flow in and around the commercial plaza. I want to thank town staff, MetroCOG, and our state legislative delegation for working with us on this important project.”