At a special meeting of the Durham and Middlefield divisions of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, officials discussed a plan to deal with ongoing construction on Route 147 and the potential impact on the Durham Fair.
The bridge construction on Route 147 has reduced part of the road to one lane with alternating traffic. The construction will not be complete before the Durham Fair, which will be held on Sept. 26-29.
To address the potential back up, route 147 will be one way after Cherry Hill Road during the fair. In the morning, traffic will move south into the Durham, but police can reverse the flow if needed. Cherry Hill Road and Miller Road will serve as the detour. State Police will monitor the road blocks and decide when to reverse the direction.
Maintaining the one way road will require two additional personnel, according to police at the meeting. “We’re ready to go,” one officer said of the preparations.
Jim Ruitto, project engineer with the Department of Transportation announced the plan. Ruitto also said that according to the DOT, the construction would not impact other area businesses. At past chamber meetings, the impact of construction on Lyman Orchard’s fall events was a concern.
Ruitto said that the DOT would stay on top of the traffic situation. “If we see that the bridge is causing backup ... we’ll see what can be done,” said Ruitto.
According to Dan Miramant, president of the Durham Fair Association, four days of good weather can bring as many as two hundred thousand to the Durham Fair, so a hold up on one of the main arteries has been a concern of fair officials.
Middlefield first selectman Jon Brayshaw announced that bridge repair on Miller Road, originally scheduled in the fall, would be postponed until spring. This construction was also a concern of fair officials. “We appreciate you [postponing] the Miller Road construction,” Miramant told Brayshaw.