Town gives green light to traffic control device on Route 2A

Signal light planned at Zephyr Road

By Tom Gresham
Observer staff

A promising collection of bids means the town should be able to move forward with plans to install a traffic light where Vermont Route 2A intersects with Paul Street and Zephyr Road.

The town received three bids on the project, including a low bid for about $199,000 from East Coast Signals, which is based in Deerfield, N.H. The company is operating in the state this summer on the Shelburne Road widening project and on the Winooski redevelopment project.

“I’m pretty tickled with that bid,” Public Works Director Neil Boyden said.

Boyden said a $199,000 price tag would compare favorably to the $165,000 cost of the last traffic signal erected in town at the intersection of Marshall Avenue and Harvest Lane two years ago. He said the Zephyr Lane signal will be complicated because of the heavy traffic flow on Vermont Route 2A and the intersection’s proximity to the signal at Taft Corners.

Most of the roadwork necessary to install a light was taken care of years ago when the Towne Place Suites was constructed on Zephyr Lane.

Pat Colbrun, an engineer with Lamoureux and Dickinson Consulting Engineers, will review the bids this week to make sure they meet the town’s qualifications. Boyden said he hopes to award a bid Friday.

Traffic signals have lengthy lead times, according to Boyden, and this project might not be completed until 2006. The town received its state permit for the project on May 9. It applied for the permit in 2003.

Williston residents had submitted a petition to the town urging the installation of a signal at the intersection. Many of those signing the petition had addresses at the Eagle Crest or Falcon Manor senior housing developments. Both are located near the intersection.

Boyden said the property owners at nearby Blair Park could shoulder between a half and two-thirds of the project cost. The property owners have permits with stipulations that would require them to contribute to the installation of the signal, Boyden said.

Once a bid is awarded, the town can formulate a specific dollar amount each property owner would be required to pay, Boyden said. A traffic study determined the amount of traffic generated by each property owner in Blair Park during peak hours. Fees will be assessed based on the study.