Gov. Malloy, DOT announce improvement plans to Route 9 in Middletown

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MIDDLETOWN -- Drivers along Route 9 in Middletown will soon see less traffic signals and improved traffic flow in the city.

Gov. Dan Malloy and members of the State Department of Transportation announced a plan Tuesday to remove at least two traffic lights along the busy roadway. The change would tackle several long-standing traffic issues.

State engineers also have a new proposal to add bridges, ramps and roundabouts, which would cost an estimated $75 million.

"This plan keeps the access into the center core," Larry McHugh, the Middlsex Chamber of Commerce president, said of the plan to elevate the road in two areas near Hartford Avenue.

The funding will come from both state and federal money, Gov. Malloy said.

The lights are not just a hindrance for drivers, they are also dangerous.  In 2015, there were more than 60 accidents at or near the lights and nearly all of them were rear-end collisions.

The signals have been in existence since the late 1950s and removing them has been discussed for years but past proposals have cost too much.

Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew is on board with the DOT's plan saying it will make downtown more accessible to visitors and commuters.

"You can end up sitting in traffic for quite a while, backed up to Cromwell or even backed up all the way to Interstate 91," Drew said.

In 2011 FOX 61 reported on how the intersection of Route 9 and Route 17 was one of the worst in the state.