Topsham asks DOT for Meadow Road speed review

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TOPSHAM — The Board of Selectmen has asked the Maine Department of Transportation to conduct another speed limit review of Meadow Road.

Spurred by a resident’s request that the 45 mph limit be reduced, the panel discussed the matter at its Aug. 18 meeting. The board that night also approved purchasing a loader and three plow trucks for the town’s Public Works Department.

The section of Meadow Road in question is an intersection in the northern part of town where the road meets both Ward and Meadow Cross roads.

“It’s a complicated intersection,” where a DOT advisory recommends a speed limit of 25 mph, Town Manager Rich Roedner said in an interview Tuesday.

Several motor vehicle accidents, including a rollover, have been reported, although most were related to weather or driver inattention, Roedner said, noting that DOT evaluated the intersection about five years ago, but found no reason to change the speed limit.

“They have criteria that they use to determine what the speed should be,” the manager explained. “Accidents can play into that, if it’s demonstrated that the road design and speed are causing the accidents.”

If the issue is people not obeying the speed limit, “you don’t change speed limits to get better enforcement,” Roedner said, adding that he has asked police to increase coverage in the area.

The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1, with Selectmen David Douglass opposed, Roedner said.

Public Works equipment

Voters at May’s Town Meeting authorized a bond of up to $1.5 million (including interest), from which the loader, three plow trucks, and two other vehicles are being funded.

The winning bid for a John Deere loader was nearly $119,000, less than the $125,000 budgeted, “which will change the amount we borrow,” Roedner said.

The three Western Star plow trucks were also under budget, with $525,000 allocated for the set, and the winning bid coming in at about $429,000.

Bids for an ambulance and fire engine could be awarded next month.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The Topsham Board of Selectmen has asked the Maine Department of Transportation to conduct a speed limit review of Meadow Road, particularly where it meets Ward and Meadow Cross roads, as shown in this Google Maps image.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.