DOT to Bulldoze West End in Bristol

A public information meeting is scheduled for December 3, 2019 at 7:00pm in City Hall Council Chambers. The public information meeting will include members of the State of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation planning team responsible for the design and construction of the new intersection.

The purpose of the project is to reduce congestion, address traffic operational inefficiencies, and to prove safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The configuration of the intersection of Route 72 and Route 69 will be improved by realigning Route 72 to the north which will soften curvature along Route 72 and allow geometric improvements to the intersection. Dedicated left-turn lanes will be added to both approaches of Route 72. 

“The purpose of the meeting is to share the current project schedule, proposed landscaping and parking layouts,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “Construction is scheduled for Spring of 2022, but there is a lot of work that has to be done now, to keep the project moving forward, including acquisition of certain properties, the eventual demolition of them, and final design plans.” 

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The existing left-turn lanes on the approaches of Route 69 will remain, but will be realigned so the movements do not overlap. The new geometry of the Route 72/69 intersection will allow for tractor trailers to make all turns. The existing Divinity Street/Route 72 intersection will be eliminated; Divinity Street will be shortened to terminate at its intersection with Landry Street. 

“It’s really important that the State hears from the residents and businesses in the neighborhood at this stage,” stated Councilman Peter Kelley. “We have already told them that some of their plantings and proposed landscape design is not the right fit for this area. We want to give them as much constructive feedback as possible, so the eventual construction project is quick and efficient.” 

A new “T” type intersection will be formed by extending Pratt Street north to Route 72. The Pratt street leg will be stop sign controlled and a left-turn lane will be provided on Route 72 to accommodate vehicles turning left onto Pratt Street. Sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements will be included to provide pedestrian connectivity throughout the project limits. Four-foot-wide shoulders will be provided throughout the project limits to improve bicycle safety. 

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“There is a lot of infrastructure in this project area that we need to be aware of,” said Public Works Director Raymond E. Rogozinski“.  From the right of way issues, to the Pequabuck River bridge, the utilities and traffic signals, and the potential to dead end Divinity Street and extend Pratt Street.”

The proposed realignment of Route 72 will result in the reduction of parking spaces in the existing parking lot located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Route 69 and 72. To compensate for the reduction in parking, and to meet the needs of the community, reasonable efforts to provide additional parking within the project limits will be included. Details and locations for the new parking is being coordinated with City officials.

There are right-of-way impacts associated with the proposed improvements: five total-property acquisitions and seven sliver acquisitions are expected. 

“When you do major work in an older neighborhood, there are opportunities to update accessibility items like the handicapped parking and parking lot configurations, traffic islands and pedestrian crossings,” said Councilwoman Mary Fortier. “I’m interested to see how these improvements are being integrated.” 

Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2022 based on the availability of funding. The estimated construction cost for this project is approximately $6 million. This project is anticipated to be undertaken with eighty percent (80% Federal funds and twenty percent (20%) State funds. 

“We have some great opportunities to create more greenspace and open up access to the river,” stated Councilwoman Brittany Barney. “With the City’s recent Connectivity grant for bike pathways from the Boulevard up through Rockwell, I am looking forward to see how they are planning for the sidewalks, signage and curbing materials.” 

The Public Informational Meeting is being held to afford a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning.

Anyone wishing to discuss the project may contact Mr. Matthew Vail at (860)594-3274 or by e-mail at Plans are also available for review at the Bristol City Hall two weeks prior to the meeting.

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Author: Bristol Chats