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By TRACEY Oâ€™NEILL
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWNâ€“The Town Council unanimously approved the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) design project for construction of a new rotary at the intersection of Routes 2 and 102 in North Kingstown. Deemed a high-hazard intersection under the RIDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program, the intersection was chosen by the state as a priority project.
Seeking Town Council approval, members of RIDOT and GM2 Associates, Inc. of Glastonbury, Conn. presented their case for rotary design. Opening the presentation and fielding questions from the council was Robert Rocchio, principal and managing engineer for RIDOT.
Fully funded under the RIDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program, the project estimated at $1.3 million is slated for possible groundbreaking in 2014. In order to qualify under the program, project approval has to be data driven and based on available transportation crash information.
â€śExamination of crashes at the intersection revealed 46 crashes, 18 with injuries and one fatality,â€ť Rocchio said.
RIDOT partnered with GM2 in preparing a design unique to the intersection based on available data. The study and observation revealed heavy incidence of crossing traffic with left turns. More than half of the accidents reported were left turns.
The design team recommended a multiple-lane rotary design implemented as the best solution for safety, efficiency and aesthetic value. The project, falling entirely within the state right-of-way, imposes no threat to private property owners with no eminent domain issues presented.
Traffic patterns, seasonal increases and possible Rolling Greens Development traffic were factored into the design.
NK resident Kevin Maloney was the lone member of the public to speak on the topic Monday, requesting that the design team consider the summer months â€“ when beach traffic backs up down to the Route 4 off ramp â€“ before making a final plans.
Councilman Charles Stamm wondered how involved the public would be in the planning of the rotary was told by Rocchio that residents would be kept abreast of the projectâ€™s progress.
Council support moves the project forward to RIDOT final design stage.