Originally published in The Weekly Packet, March 6, 2014
Speed on High St. increased, Hales Woods Rd. set at 35 mph
by Rich Hewitt
The Board of Selectmen on March 4, adopted recommendations from the Maine Department of Transportation for speed limits on two town roads.
The action will set the speed limit on High Street at 40 mph, up from the current limit of 35 mph, and set the limit on Hales Woods Road at 35.
Selectman Albie Smith said that while there have been no problems or complaints on those roads, the board had sought a recommendation from MDOT in anticipation of future increased traffic on the two roads. He explained that if and when work begins to replace the Falls Bridge on Route 175 in South Blue Hill, it will cause an immediate shift in traffic patterns.
“Those roads will see a huge increase in traffic,” he said. “We were just planning for the future.”
With that bridge out of service during construction, he said, motorists will seek alternative routes to Sedgwick and Blue Hill. High Street connects with Hales Hill Road and connects to Route 172 in Sedgwick providing a route to Blue Hill. The Hales Woods Road becomes River Road and provides a straight shot from Route 175 into Sedgwick Village.
Smith said the MDOT recommendation will increase the speed limit on High Street from its current limit of 35 mph to 40 mph. There are currently no speed limit signs on Hales Woods Road, he said, but the proposed 35 mph limit would continue the speed from River Road, which is signed and is currently 35 mph.
Although the MDOT recommended the speed limits for the two roads, Smith said the town will be responsible for having the signs made and installing them. That won’t happen until after the ground thaws.
The board will not meet for their regularly scheduled meeting on March 18, but will meet the next Tuesday, March 25.