Colrain mulls traffic slowdown on Greenfield Road

  • A dump truck full of gravel lost its brakes coming down Greenfield Road into the center of Colrain Friday, July 7, taking out a utility pole and causing it to land on its side and dumping its load of gravel closing Route 112. Recorder FIle Photo/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/12/2017 2:27:23 PM

COLRAIN — Does Greenfield Road need a truck ramp?

The Selectboard discussed how to slow traffic coming down the steep Greenfield Road into the town center, following a dump truck rollover that spilled a load of gravel and temporarily closed Jacksonville Road.

According to the Selectboard, the heavily loaded truck lost its brakes going down the hill Friday, July 7, striking a utility pole near 6 Jacksonville Road. And the gravel that spilled onto the road was to have gone to the town Highway Garage, near the base of the hill.

“Has anybody considered putting in a truck ramp?” asked Selectman Mark Thibodeau. “It wouldn’t cost much to do a ramp. This has got to be the fifth (accident),” he remarked.

Town Coordinator Kevin Fox said people have to slow down on that hill. He said that, while visiting the highway garage construction site, he’s seen many cars and trucks speeding through the intersection.

Before the road gets steep, there are signs warning trucks to test their brakes, and signs posting a 20 mile-per-hour speed limit. The board discussed putting up an electronic sign to read vehicles’ speeds as they descend the hill.

Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Worden said there have been at least six similar accidents since 1960. The Selectboard members said there have been at least five they can remember.

Selectwoman Eileen Sauvageau said a similar sign on Foundry Village Road seems to have slowed traffic there. She said the sign could be used to monitor times when people are more likely to be speeding, so that the Police Department could better patrol the area in those times.

Fox pointed out that the accident could have had tragic consequences. Had it occurred during the Colrain Central School’s school year, The out-of-control truck could have hit a school bus. Also, because of the bridge construction, the rolling truck could have struck a single lane of cars or the road workers.


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