GUILFORD – The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved two contracts for town road improvements with New Haven-based engineering firm Stantec and Cheshire-based SLR on Monday.
Selectman Susan Renner wasn’t present for the vote, which allotted $57,295 to Stantec for a project on Long Hill Road and $26,450 to SLR for a project on North Madison Road
The projects were proposed in conjunction with the Safe Streets Task Force, Town Engineer Janice Paziak said.
The task force’s purpose, according to its website, is to “preserve and enhance the scenic, historic, and environmental resources of our Town while improving safety, mobility equity, and connectivity for our Residents.”
The Long Hill Road project, Paziak said, would improve pedestrian and bike paths, and the intersection at New England Road.
“The hope is to go further north on Long Hill Road, at least to connect to the middle school, if not further,” she said. “Currently we have sidewalks going in as part of the subdivision just north of the middle school.”
The project is still in its early stages, Plaziak said, and it has not yet been determined where a crosswalk would be placed at the intersection.
“There’s a few challenges on the east side of the road,” she said. “There’s a lot of grading challenges. We do have, fortunately, a 60-foot right away for Long Hill Road. We have room to change things to accommodate what we’re looking for.”
She said Long Hill Road may not be completely centered to allow the right of way to be equally 30 feet on either side, but that the amount would be determined in a future survey.
“This proposal here is preliminary,” she said, “so there’s no survey involved. But that would be the next step if we’re to actually proceed with construction on the project.”
The project has already had some public vetting through the Safe Streets Task Force, but Plaziak encouraged more public outreach.
“We felt, given its impact to that whole corridor, we would want to do a little more outreach to really develop what we want to see there,” she said. “We will have a public outreach as part of the preliminary design. If we were to go to construction, we would have public outreach as well, as required.”
First Selectman Matthew Hoey said the project will impact northbound traffic along the hill, making it safer at the intersection of Long Hill and New England roads.
The North Madison Road project for SLR, Plaziak said, stemmed from the Safe Streets Task Force gathering feedback from communities around Valley Shore Road, which connects to North Madison Road and the golf course, and other residents and town operations along the road.
“They’re looking for a three-way stop at Maupas and North Madison roads,” she said. “… We didn’t proceed to any approvals because it needs further study because of some sightline concerns and stopping distance concerns there. We really need some traffic data to really make an evaluation of that intersection for improvements.”
There is some concern, she noted, about which side of North Madison Road will receive sidewalks and how those sidewalks would connect to existing ones along Guilford Lakes Golf Course.
“There was already a lot of outreach done, and even though the Safe Streets Task Force really was enamored with Stantec’s proposal and how much they were doing, it was still a lot of money,” she said. “SLR can handle this project very easily. They’re a great firm too for this type of stuff, and we could save $18,000 if we went with them on this project. There’s not as many questions about what we’re going to do here. We feel like we can narrow it down and save some money by going through SLR.”