The long-awaited reconstruction of a busy intersection on Route 10 may start in the fall of 2018, town officials have been told.
That intersection at Old Farms Road is one of two improvement projects under consideration for Route 10. Improving Old Farms Road is a priority for the town. Studies have shown an increasing amount of traffic there, which town leaders attribute to increased activity at UConn Health and Jackson Labs in Farmington.
Old Farms Road is narrow, with a steep slope as it approaches Route 10. The project is expected to fix both of those issues, as well as other problems. A bridge that goes over the Farmington River also would be replaced.
"There are a whole lot of advantages to this on top of the fact that the bridge is obsolete," council Chairman Mark Zacchio said during a presentation before the council recently.
The town initiated the project but the state took it over five years ago and is expected to pay for much of it. Officials from the state Department of Transportation will hold a public information session on Sept. 21, at 7 p.m., at the Avon Free Public Library, where people can learn more about the work.
Town Engineer Lawrence Baril told the council that DOT officials have said they plan to finish designing the work by next spring and put it out to bid that summer, with the hope of starting construction in the late fall 2018. While they are completing the design DOT officials are seeking environmental permits from other state and federal agencies.
In addition to building a new bridge, the section of Old Farms Road as it approaches Route 10 would be shifted a short distance to the north. Officials say doing this will create a more gradual slope as Old Farms Road gets to the traffic light at the intersection and better sight lines for drivers turning onto Route 10. The design also includes turn lanes, along with a small boat launch on the river.
Town officials also looking at a project for a section of Old Farms Road where it passes Avon Old Farms School. A plan presented to the council this summer entailed relocating part of road in order to improve the intersection at Scoville Road and creating a new intersection with Thompson Road.